With Uganda ranked 6th among countries with the highest number of cases of depression, the Ministry of Health has swung in action to reduce the depression disorders which often lead to suicide.
According to the World Health Organization, depression is a mood disorder characterized by prolonged sadness and misery.
Worrying, however, is that the signs of depression are not usually obvious, leaving many patients to suffer in silence with no medication.
Doreen Baingana, a resident of Busambaga village Katabi town council, Entebbe municipality is one of the few Ugandans who have suffered from the disease and was able to get medication.
She explains that depression takes over one’s life and makes it seem like not worth living.
Baingana says the situation only worsened when she enrolled for a Masters in Law in the United States of America.
She says that, “It was very hard for me to continue with course, I found myself always crying for no reason, I had no energy.”
Bainagana was immediately enrolled on therapy and a dose of anti depressants
Unfortunately, the drugs had some side effects that she found nearly unbearable.
She says for relief she sought refugee in alcohol.
A disease with no clear causes Baingana, look to her lineage to explain the predicament.
She says she soon realised that, “My father was an alcoholic he died of liver failure, but with awareness now I think he also had depression though he was not diagnosed.”
Susan Tashobya, a counselling psychologist, adds that many of the cases of depression reported are hereditary, but yes some can be acquired because of factors outside that.
Depression is the third most common reasons for admission to Butabika Hospital, after alcohol and drug abuse; and organic mental illnesses.
A February 2017 World Health Organisation (WHO) report indicates that depression is the largest single mental health problem and a major contributor to suicide deaths whose number is close to 800,000 per year.
By 2030, WHO estimates that depression will be the second leading cause of world disability where it is also expected to be the largest contributor to the disease burden in both developed and developing countries.
Studies done in Uganda show, high levels of depression with the highest being in Northern Uganda where three out of 10 people had serious depression, according to the Mental health Gap action Project in 2014.