Speaking at a summit in Cape Town this week, Kader said symptoms of depression include feeling hopeless and helpless, a loss of interest in friends and activities you used to enjoy, feeling tired all the time, an inability to sleep, or sleeping too much, and difficulty concentrating, reports Times Live.
Kader said 25% of South Africans have difficulty concentrating at work‚ and are indecisive and forgetful. Of those‚ half have taken time off due to these symptoms – and on average are absent for 18 days a year.
The absenteeism and lack of focus have negative implications for productivity and the economy.
People who are depressed also find that previously easy tasks are now difficult, they can’t control negative thoughts, and are irritable or aggressive. They also tend to consume more alcohol than usual and engage in other reckless behaviour, according to Help Guide, a depression support website.
Speaking to DESTINY this week, psychiatrist Dr Jan Tshabalala said there is still a stigma around depression in the black community, which leaves many unwilling to seek help. “People will say that you are weak for seeing a shrink,” he said.
Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. The deep despair and hopelessness that accompanies depression can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. Help Guide advises people who are feeling like they can’t cope to seek immediate help.
If you feel as though you are unable to deal with your feelings of depression, call the South African Anxiety and Depression Group.
Suicide Crisis Line:0800 567 567
Childline: 0800 55 555