The second most prevalent mental disorder in Belize is depression. Chances are, you or someone you know may be suffering from this disease. While it is not as commonly diagnosed as anxiety, it’s effects may be detrimental as it can lead to suicide. It is important to notice the signs in yourself and in your loved ones before it reaches that point, however. Nurse Eleanor Bennett, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, told us the symptoms that one should look out for.
Nurse Eleanor Bennett, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner: “The signs of depression are sadness, the first symptom is sadness but it’s a sadness that persists it doesn’t leave. In some people instead of along with the sadness there is irritability so the person gets on edge, gets upset very easily and then another sign could be loss of interest. For example the person used to like a particular event or activity and then they lose interest and they don’t want to do it anymore. Sometimes people feel hopeless when they’re depressed and hopelessness comes in the form of not seeing an end to whatever situation they’re going through. They might feel helpless, they might think about suicide, they might have sleeping problems maybe sleeping too much, sleeping too little, eating problems eating too much or eating too little and also worry; there’s a lot of worry also associated with depression. So depression we normally treat depression if it’s severe meaning that it is affecting the way the person lives we would advise people that they should seek professional help.”
As mental illness awareness week continues, we will continue to look at other disorders affecting Belizeans.