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Research on Depression in the Workplace.

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Mental Health Matters Journal for Psychiatrists & GP's

MHM Volume 8 Issue1

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If you are a journalist writing a story contact Kayla on 011 234 4837  media@anxiety.org.za


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Literacy is a luxury that many of us take for granted. That is why SADAG created SPEAKING BOOKS and revolutionized the way healthcare information is delivered to low literacy communities.

The customizable 16-page book, read by local celebrity audio recordings, ensures that vital health and social messages can be seen, heard, read and understood by everyone across the world.

We started with books on Teen Suicide prevention , HIV, AIDS and Depression, Understanding Mental Health and have developed over 100+ titles, such as TB, Malaria, Polio, Vaccines for over 45 countries.

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You see the billboard or the sign with bold lettering "UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT". What is the generally concluded assumption? A better product or service? Whatever service was previously offered, would now, by implication, be superior or improved upon in some way.

Thus 'new management' can be construed as one which will now receive the correct, appropriate or right management. When relating this idea to the administration of prescribed medication, the South African Depression and Anxiety Support Group are of the opinion that the correct management of anti-depressant's prescribed by professionals is an area of concern in so far as the general public's knowledge and awareness is concerned.

The healing and indispensably valuable properties of anti-depressants, are often overlooked and drowned, in a media hype of negativity, which ultimately serves to feed (or starve), the prospective patient's potential recovery, from depression and anxiety related disorders. Faulty misconceptions and lack of understanding as to what the correct treatment management procedures are, results in people discarding medications after a short period of time, and contributes to anti-depressants earning labels with all types of negative connotations.

What then is the appropriate course of action when you suspect that you may be sufferring from an anxiety or depressive disorder? The first step would be to get professionally diagnosed by a psychiatrist, general practitioner or psychologist. A combination of both medication and psychological therapy, has proved to be the most effective treatment of Depression and Anxiety Disorders.

The Depression and Anxiety Support Group is a centre offering assistance in the form of telephonic counselling, psycho–education and referrals to anyone in need. Trained counsellors can be contacted from Monday to Friday, 8.00 a.m. until 7.00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

The most important message that requires understanding is that effective treatment is very often dependent upon the correct management of the prescribed medication. In this context, the word 'management' refers to the long-term administration, monitoring, feedback and ascertained effectiveness, which occurs as a continuous process of mutual interactions, between the medical professional and the client. To elaborate, this means that when a patient experiences uncomfortable side effects or feels that the medication is not addressing the problem, he or she should immediately return to the prescribing practitioner to discuss the matter.

To this end, one should understand that not only are there a number and classes of anti-depressants; but also, each type of medication works differently on a physiological level, as each individual is unique in their own constitution. Just as no two persons are identical in their total make-up, so too their bodies will respond to medication in a variety of ways. Additionally, contrary to many misguided opinions, anti-depressants are not addictive.

The importance of adhering to a proper regime of medication treatment management is underscored for many reasons, two of which are:

1. Taking an anti-depressant and then discontinuing the treatment of one's own accord can often result in aggravating an already diagnosed problem, even further.

2. Secondly, a person suffering from depression and anxiety may find that his or

her life is being severely 'crippled' by their problem. In seeking treatment they are clearly demonstrating a desire to 'reclaim' their lives. Therefore, when medication is halted, without consultation with their medical professional, the result is that the patient is simply choosing to short-change him or herself, in terms of leading a quality daily life.

The medical professionals need to spend time teaching the patients about the nature of depression and how antidepressants work, as well as the importance of completing treatment. The patients hesitations about taking medication, the duration of waiting period before the onset of action for the medication as well as the possible side effects should be discussed and a rationale for the use of medication provided.

Anti-depressants medication and psychological therapy go hand in hand in serving a specific purpose in addressing chemical imbalances and assisting those, whose lives have become unmanageable through various life stressors.


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