Depression: False Delusion or Serious Medical Condition?

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Chester Bennington’s suicide shone a light on the topic of depression. But is depression simply a state of mind or is it a dark terror hiding in plain sight?

Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington was found dead in his home shortly after the release of the band’s seventh album, One More Light, in 2017. This caused a media uproar, which sparked many negative comments on the selfishness of his actions and how he left his friends, family and fans behind with no regard for their well-being.

The truth is, Chester’s suicide was not as sudden as we all thought it was. All the signs were there, hidden in plain sight. His last few songs, which many of us simply dismissed as the decline of a has-been way past his prime, were his way of leaving behind a deeper, darker message. Unfortunately, most of us didn’t realise it until it was too late.

Depression is not a phase, it’s an illness

Most folks wouldn’t tell a person with physical disabilities to stop faking it or a homosexual that they’re just going through a phase. What makes depression any different? On the outside, depression may look like a convenient excuse to some but in reality, it is a mental disorder that should not be taken lightly.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. It plays a major role in global disability and disease; and, at its worst, can lead to suicide. The 2016 Singapore Mental Health Study also found that one in seven Singaporeans have suffered from depression at some point in their lives. That equates to 13.9 percent of the entire population, a 1.9 percent increase from a similar study conducted in 2010.

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The saddest people smile the brightest

Despite Chester Bennington’s suicide, the stigma of depression being a delusion rather than a condition still remains. Many still believe that being depressed is a choice and can be eradicated at will. High-functioning depression, an invisible illness that may be more difficult to detect than major depressive disorder, could explain why.

For the most part, people living with high-functioning depression often come across as high achievers who have everything to be grateful for. But therein lies the danger. Under a seemingly untroubled exterior lies a bottomless pit of anxiety, insomnia, fatigue and a host of detrimental symptoms. Or so it seems.

Depression is not a death sentence

Depression is often viewed as incurable and considered a sign of weakness, especially for those who believe that they will lose everything once they come out. Those who do express their feelings, on the other hand, have probably heard replies such as, “Don’t lie, you’re the happiest person I know,” one too many times.

But that should not affect a person’s decision to seek help. The 2016 study found that more than three-quarters of people who had a mental disorder at least once in their lifetime did not seek professional help. This, coupled with the rise in lifetime prevalence of mental illness from 12 percent in 2010 to 13.9 percent in 2016 is cause for concern, especially when the consequence of not seeking help is potentially fatal.

From psychiatrists to psychologists, support groups to anonymous depression chat rooms; you name it, they’ve got it. Whatever the case may be, there are always ways to fight this illness. Those who suffer from depression should never say, in the words of Chester Bennington himself, “But in the end, it doesn’t even matter.”

Article written by : Anthony Lim
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Health My Foot!

Improving Your Foot Health 

While taking care of one’s feet may not be the first thing to come to mind about health, but if you have ever gone for a foot massage, you would most probably have heard the Traditional Chinese Medicine saying that your foot is your second heart. Yet, it is estimated that four out of five adults suffer from a foot problem at least once in their life.

As the so-called second heart, our feet are mirrors of our general health. A professional masseur can identify your bodily illness simply by massaging each pressure point in your feet. As the body part that probably receives the most wear and tear, common foot problems including heel pain, bunions, and inflammation of the tendon, could potentially damage your knees, hip, and your entire spine.

However, do not worry! The preventive measure for common foot problems and taking care of your general foot health is not complicated at all.

Wear the Right Shoes

First of all, choosing the right shoes is important. Wearing the wrong shoe sizes or shape will exert extra pressure on our feet, even distorting the structure of the foot, leading to painful foot problems like arch spasms and tendinitis.

To find the right shoes, always measure your feet before buying the shoes. Make sure you can wiggle your toes a little inside the shoes. Do try on both shoes and walk a few steps to see if they pinch or rub. Our feet tend to swell a little during the day, so shop for your shoes in the afternoon when your feet are at their largest.

Keep Your Feet Clean and Dry

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Fungal infections are also one of the most common foot problems. Make sure you clean your feet thoroughly with soap and water when you bathe. But more importantly, dry your feet thoroughly! Wipe off the moisture in between your toes as those are exactly where fungal organisms love the most.

Wear clean socks whenever you are wearing closed shoes to maintain the dryness and avoid rental footwear as that would only increase your odds of getting an infection. Also, trim your toenails regularly and properly. Toenails which are too long will collect dirt, while toenails trimmed too short might cause ingrown nails, a condition where the toenail grows into the flesh surrounding it.

Exercise Your Feet

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Exercising your feet will not only improve blood circulation, but it can also prevent many potential foot injuries including sprains. Focus your foot exercises on flexibility and strength. Some simple workouts for your foot are the ankle rolls, which improves your feet’s range of motion and rolling a ball under your feet to strengthen your ligaments.

Do remember that these are mere preventive measures and should you actually experience a foot infection or injury, please always refer to a foot orthotic expert. They would be able to recommend devices to support, correct, compensate or accommodate any physical deformity, weakness and skeletal muscular or neuromuscular abnormalities that cause foot problems.