World Health Day: Depression can be treated, if you think you have depression, seek help

Islamabad, April 06, 2017 (PPI-OT): Honourable Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of State for Information Broadcasting and National Heritage stressed on the need to spread message for preventive and healthy living among public so that we could form a healthy society. She was addressing to the participants of an awareness seminar to mark World Health Day at Shifa International Hospital (SIH). Doctors, school children, their parents, teachers and residents of Rawalpindi and Islamabad attended the interactive awareness session.

Marriyum Aurangzeb, while appreciating the role of mainstream media, also highlighted the significance of the day. She said that World Health Day provides an opportunity for the world community to come together for one day to focus on actions that can improve the health of all our people. She appreciated Shifa International Hospital and its management team for taking an initiative in this noble cause of public awareness by organizing this event. She insisted that public and private cooperation in this regards is needed. She on behalf of her ministry offered full support for this noble cause.

She added that meanwhile, it is a great opportunity to develop a foundation of a healthier society and nation by spreading education and awareness for prevention of the disease. For this media should come forward and play an important role to disseminate this message to the broader set of audience, as their social and national responsibility.

Ms. Kokab Khawaja, Cooking and Home Décor Expert was the Guest of honour and judge of the cooking competition. Ms. Farrah Mahmood Rana, Miniature Artist, Associate Professor, In Charge and Curator, COMSATS Art Gallery and Ms. Shagufta Naheed, Yoga Expert were also invited in the program as a special guests. Dr. Salma Siddiqui, Clinical Psychologist and Head of Department of Behavioural Sciences (NUST) was the guest speaker of the event. Audience enjoyed numerous interesting activities such as The Cooking Challenge, Painting Competition, and Yoga Workshop. Chief Operating Officer (SIH), Mr. Aziz A. Jan gave gifts and prizes to the winners and the participants. Shifa’s Hiking Club was also launched on this occasion.

Dr. Abdul Wahab Yousafzai, Consultant Psychiatrist SIH said that Depression affects people of all ages, from all walks of life. It causes mental anguish and impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends and the ability to earn a living. At worst, depression can lead to suicide, now the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year olds.

Dr. Wahab said that Depression is an illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks. In addition, people with depression normally have several of the following: a loss of energy; a change in appetite; sleeping more or less; anxiety; reduced concentration; indecisiveness; restlessness; feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide. Yet, depression can be prevented and treated. A better understanding of what depression is, and how it can be prevented and treated, will help reduce the stigma associated with the condition, and lead to more people seeking help, he stated.

Dr. Shahzad Khan Siddique, Consultant General Medicine and Geriatrician SIH said that all adults should visit their health care provider from time to time, even when they are healthy. The purpose of these visits is to: Screen for diseases, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, Look for future disease risks, such as high cholesterol and obesity, Discuss tips on how to quit smoking, Encourage a healthy lifestyle, such as healthy eating and exercise, Update vaccinations, Maintain a relationship with your health care provider in case of illness and Discuss medications or supplements that you are taking.

He said that in addition to seeing your doctor for regular check-ups, there are things you can do to stay healthy and help lower your risk for diseases. If you already have a health condition, taking these steps can help you manage it. Don’t smoke or use tobacco, Exercise at least 150 minutes a week (2 hours and 30 minutes), Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat or non-fat dairy, Maintain a healthy weight and Always use seatbelts, and use car seats if you have children.

He stressed that following tests that may be done or scheduled: Blood pressure, Blood sugar, Cholesterol (blood), Colon cancer screening test, Depression screening, Genetic testing for breast cancer or ovarian cancer in certain women, HIV test, Mammogram, Osteoporosis screening, Pap smear, Tests for Chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, and other sexually transmitted diseases, Your health care provider can recommend, how often you should visit your doctor.

He also discussed the Alarming Signs, he said that another part of preventive health is learning to recognize changes in your body that may not be normal. This is so you can see your health care provider right away. Changes may include: A lump anywhere on your body, Losing weight without trying, A lasting fever, A cough that does not go away, Body aches and pains that do not go away, Changes or blood in your stools, Skin changes or sores that do not go away or get worse, Other changes or symptoms that are new or do not go away.

Mr. Azmatullah Quraishi, Head of Religious Affairs, SIH said that Islam is a complete way of life and offers a real solution to every problem. Alhamdolillah, as Muslims and as believers in Allah, we know what treasures and pleasures He has in store for us in the hereafter. Put your hope, trust and faith in Allah. It helps when you find that you are not the only one who has difficulties. You can get a great deal of support by helping others and building up your self-esteem and confidence.

Depressed person should repent for the past and turn his/her attention to Allah. Allah is the controller of all situations. If a person is in any difficulty, Allah is the only being that would assist him in coming out of that difficulty. Therefore, turn to Allah and He will take care of all your problems and misfortunes. Many people, when they goes through a lot of trouble, panic, lose hope and start complaining. But Only Allah knows what is beneficial for us. He is All Wise, All Merciful. Allah loves us more than seventy mothers do. Difficulties and trials can become a means of raising our status and earn countless reward.

If the state of grief worsens and leads to some level of depression, then in addition to this spiritual remedy, showing patience, putting one’s trust in Allah and always remembering Him, medical attention from a knowledgeable and trustworthy specialist is also needed. May Allah Grant us the ability to convey the message of peace, the sacred and enlightened values of Islam, its rituals and teachings for success in this life and the Hereafter, for the benefit of mankind.

For more information, contact:
Shifa International Hospitals Limited
Pitras Bukhari Road H-8/4,
Islamabad – Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-8463666
Fax: +92-51-4863182
Email: info@shifa.com.pk
Website: www.shifa.com.pk