DEPRESSION AND STRESS IN WARRIORS BY DR BECKY
So I’m sure you’re wondering why I am talking about this topic. It is very dear to my heart, because we as warriors live with a chronic disease which predisposes us to A Lot of Stress and Even Clinical Depression.
We need to learn How to Manage either aspects or either sides especially Stress. Growing Up I felt pretty down a lot because let’s be honest this SCD thing can be very depressing and at some point in time it was tilting to Depression
I was always sad for Days and I was intentional about managing myself, my Stress and My Emotions especially my Mood and With all of that I can say that I have done a good job
Some of you know that I’m a Medical Doctor and I always get the question, oh, Becky How did you manage through medical school?
The answer is PROPER STRESS MANAGEMENT
Stress is actually a normal part of life, it is inevitable and we have to learn to live with it and deal with it.
It is defined as the physiological and psychological behavioural response by an individual when they perceive lack of balance in the demands placed on them and their ability to meet the demand
So what are the Causes?
-A Chronic Illness like SCD
– A Traumatic Event like the loss of a Loved one or Heartbreak
– Loss of a job
– Work Related Stress
(Lagos Traffic alone is enough stress, An annoying customer that would always complain about the job you do or that Annoying condescending boss are enough stressors we face)
So Stress Management would go a long way in Reducing the Frequency of Your Crises and it has for me.
What are the Stress Management Strategies?
You have to first Understand Your Stress
-Identify you Stress Sources, in Our Case Sickle Cell Disorder alone is enough stress 🙄
-Learn More about Stress Signals
What symposium do you get when you’re stressed?!
Listen to your body and know your crises triggers
– MAKE SELF CARE A PRIORITY
-Ask for help when needed
So what are Those Stress Management Tips that have helped me, That can also help you too?
1. Manage your Time
-Make a List of all the things you need to do that day and set realistic deadlines for yourself
2. LEARN TO SAY NO
When you have too much to do it can cause stress and lead to a crises
3. Keep A Stress Diary
This helps you become aware of the situations that cause you to become stressed
4. Rest When you Feel Ill
It is so important to talk to either your lectures, or your boss or even your friends about your condition. So that they know how to help and understand that you’re not being lazy.
5. Get More Sleep
Go to Bed at the Same time and Wake Up at the same time at least 7hrs of sleep nothing less
I sleep like a log of wood guys, I love sleep. It’s very important. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for sleeping
I know that a lot of people are picky with food, Food is extremely important in the management of SCD.
I eat very well oo. Me I love food. It is my love language. You can steal me with food
7. Indulge in physical activity:
Because you have SCD doesn’t mean you won’t do exercises. It doesn’t have to be rigorous, something as simple as taking a brisk walk, jogging, skipping.
I love exercising
It improves my mood when I feel sad and down
8. Make time for Hobbies
I like Playing Cards and Board Games
I like Dancing Salsa
I love watching movies.
Do Things that make you happy and give you peace
9. Talk to Someone
Talking to someone about how you feel can be very very helpful. It helps you distract yourself from stressful thoughts
I understand that sometimes we want to withdraw and go to our shell because we aren’t sure how the next person would react to our problems and secrets
Please it is too important to talk to someone. It is usually therapeutic
10. Take A Break and Go easy on yourself
I cannot begin to stress about how taking a break is very very important. Body no be firewood.
Somethings that can help you relax are:
LISTENING TO MUSIC
GOING FOR MASSAGES
These things are so important
So Now I would Like to Talk About Depression and SCD
Yesterday when Zandy spoke about Leg Ulcers, the Issue of Depression came in
And Yes We all have an increased risk of falling into Depression, because we live with a Chronic Illness and The funny thing is that
It is very common for Family Members and Even Doctors to Sometimes overlook it and it is actually a serious issue
The Truth is in all I have Said Sometimes SCD can make it impossible to do things that you enjoy and like I said earlier it can eat away your confidence and sense of hope for the future.
Especially when it starts to affect your Mobility in the case of having Avascular Necrosis and makes you dependent on others and not independent
And it can also Change the way you see yourself and The way you relate to others. As a Child I seriously battled with Self Esteem issues because my second home was the Hospital. It got to me so much and I started seeing myself as unworthy and feeling unnecessarily sad
Studies have shown that 1/3rd of Patients living with Chronic Illnesses can Fall into Clinical Depression.
So that brings me to my Next Question
How do I know I am Depressed?
If a Person Is Depressed, there would be;
– Loss of Interest or Pleasure in Daily Activities
-Sleep Disturbances (Sleeping too much or Not Sleeping Enough)
-Problems Concentrating at Work or In School
-Lack of Feeling or Emotion
-Feelings of Worthlessness or Guilt
-Thoughts of Death or Suicide
The Truth is That people that have Depression with SCD
Have difficulty taking care of themselves and decreased quality of life. The person would be falling ill and having a crises very often.
I experienced this in Senior Secondary school and I was always falling ill
This Brings Me to My next Question
How was I able to manage it?
I stopped Isolating Myself.
Try not to isolate yourself. Reach out to family members and friends. You are not weak by reaching out. A support system is so important, take steps to build a support system, people you would be accountable to.
-Learn as much as you can about SCD. Knowledge is POWER. You would be able to read and ask your doctor about the best treatment possible
– Keep Doing the Things you Like doing as much as possible
-It is also very important to seek the help of a Professional, if you have any of these symptoms, tell your doctor. If you feel unnecessarily sad pls tell your doctor and so that you can see a therapist and take medications known as Antidepressants.
It is okay to be sad about SCD but it isn’t okay to be unnecessarily sad a…
Learn to Stay Positive, Talk to yourself every morning. psych yourself Up!
Say, Beautiful words to yourself like,
“BECKY YOU ARE AMAZING”
YOU HAVE SICKLE CELL BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE YOU! HOW YOU THINK AND HOW YOU ACT CAN TRANSFORM YOUR EXPERIENCE OF STRESS. WHEN YOU CHOOSE TO VIEW YOUR STRESS RESPONSE AS HELPFUL, YOU CREATE COURAGE. WHEN YOU CHOOSE TO CONNECT WITH OTHERS YOU CREATE RESILIENCE
YOU DONT HAVE TO FACE IT ALONE