The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised individuals who think they are heading for depression to talk to someone they trust or seek professional help.
According to the organisation’s Twitter handle @WHOAFRO, depression is not a sign of weakness but something that could happen to anybody.
WHO said that the life changes that came with ageing could lead to depression, therefore the condition was common in older people.
The organisation said this was however often overlooked and untreated, calling on youth to try and live positive lives in order to prevent depression when they grow old.
According to WHO, depression can be treated: the first step is talking.
“If you think you have depression seek help.’’
It said that the condition was treatable with talking therapies or antidepressant medication or a combination of these.
“There is a lot that you can do to keep mentally strong. If you feel that you may be heading for depression, talk to someone you trust or seek professional help.
“If you live with someone with depression, you can help them recover but you need to take care of yourself to,” WHO said.
The world health body has continued to raise awareness on the need for countries to give more focus to prevention and treatment of depression.
This awareness stems from concerns on the fact that the condition has become one of the main causes of death among adolescents aged 10 to 19 years.
According to WHO, half of all mental health disorders in adulthood start by age 14, but most cases are undetected and untreated.
It says that more than 3,000 adolescents die every day largely from preventable causes such as suicide, road traffic injuries, pneumonia, drowning and diarrhoea diseases.
The signs and symptoms of depression can include loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities, withdrawing from close family and friends, relying on alcohol and sedatives and unable to concentrate.
Others are feeling tired all the time, headache and muscle pains, sleep problems, loss or change of appetite and significant weight loss or gain.
These signs may differ from individual to individual hence the need to seek professional help.