There is a touch of lightness in the air as sun rays peek through the trees. Each step has a sound which carries a sense of peacefulness. There is calm.
But suddenly, all the lights go out. Nothing remains, not even darkness.
Without any warning, a person can experience an episode of depression without any triggering factor. This is according to psychiatrist Ranier Umali.
Dr. Umali said a person with depression can continue feeling good for months. However, he reiterates that depression is an episodic sickness which patients should be reminded of.
“Minsan, two months na okay na feeling niya ano, biglang darating iyan. Kahit walang trigger iyan. Kapag biglang dumating iyan at hindi alam ng pasyente na iyan ay talagang episode, madedepress ulit iyon, (Sometimes, [a patient] will be okay for two months, but [depression] will suddenly come, even without a trigger. If it comes and the patient is unaware of the episode, he will revert back to being depressed),” he said.
Umali said suicide is the end result of the sickness but depression is not contagious.
“Di siya nakakahawa, because ang suicide is not a sickness it is not infectious. It is a manifestation of a disease process. That is the outcome, (It is not contagious, because suicide is not a sickness),” he said.
However, he clarified that suicide thoughts shared on social media can affect another person.
“Shared thoughts, nadadala ka. Parang mob rule iyon. Nakakaapekto, iba iyong nakakahawa, nakakaapekto [iyon] nakaka-influence iyong thought process, (Shared thoughts can influence you. It is like a mob rule. It is different from being contagious. The thought process can be influential),” he said.
In an episode of UNTV’s morning show Good Morning Kuya, Umali further explained some misconceptions about depression and offered tips to help a person suffering from the disorder.
There are six causes of suicide:
Umali explained that psychosis and depression are the two negative causes of suicide. He also said that the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 1/3 of the population of a country is depressed.
Depression is not an ordinary kind of sadness
Umali said a person with depression is experiencing severe sadness and anhedonia, which is the inability to feel pleasure.
He explained that this is due to a hormonal imbalance in the brain. Low serotonin levels and low oxygen levels in the brain are some of the factors which puts a person in a depressive mood.
Symptoms of depression
lack of sleep
lack of appetite
Stop giving advises
Relatives and friends of a person suffering from depression are advised not to carelessly give advice to their loved ones with depression. Umali said not to take away control from the patient.
“Stop giving advice because your advice is your solution and not his solution,” he added.
Exercise but not to the point of exhaustion
It is better for a depressed person to try and get out of bed and do exercises, according to Umali. These include outdoor activities, however, he cautions against pushing oneself to exhaustion.
Avoid eating foods with caffeine
Umali listed down the foods a depressed person should avoid, which include drugs, alcohol, soft-drinks, tea, chocolate, and coffee.
“The last person to know whether he or she is depressed is the person himself,” Umali said. “Kaya kayong mga relatives kapag nakita niyo na iyon kayo na ang gumawa ng aksyon para sa kaniya. (So relatives, if you see [the symptoms] take action for his sake)—AAC
A scientist is looking into coconut oil as a potential treatment for the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Ateneo de Manila University chemistry professor Dr. Fabian Dayrit said coconut oil has antiviral agents which can help in the treatment of nCoV.
Lauric acid is a fatty acid found in coconut oil while monolaurin is a compound that is produced naturally when one consumes virgin coconut oil (VCO). It is also commercially available through chemical synthesis.
Dr. Dayrit said there had been several clinical studies proving the potential of coconut oil against various diseases including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Junin virus which is similar to nCoV.
“As far as the available literature is concerned, it is very promising. Kasi it had been shown to work in other viruses. So, wala namang risk. So, why not try it,” he said.
“It’s not a proof, but there is enough evidence that it might work,” he added.
Dr. Dayrit said that based on research, the said antiviral agents can potentially destroy the cell membrane of a virus and stop its maturity.
“It has been shown that lauric acid and monolaurin can inhibit the replication,” he said.
The Philippines is also abundant in coconut which can produce cheaper coconut oil.
According to the Philippine Coconut Authority, the Philippines is the number one exporter of virgin coconut oil in the world. Coconut oil is also safe for animals which is also used as food supplements for farm animals and pets.
Dr. Dayrit explained that for a proper clinical study you would need a few hundred subjects depending on study design.
“We don’t have that many coronavirus patients. So, I think we have to design it to test it out just to show that it can actually work and we can move on from there,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) is open to conduct clinical tests for the potential of coconut oil.
DOH USec. Eric Domingo said a lot of evidence is needed when it comes to treatment and management. He also calls on researchers to come up ways to look into potential treatments for nCoV.
“We are requesting iyong ating researchers dito kung pwedeng tingnan, (our researchers if they can look into it),” he said.—AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)
The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) is not recommending the general public to wear face masks, saying it should be “reserved for those who really need it”.
In a press conference in Malacañang on Monday (February 3), RITM Director Celia Carlos said the wearing of face masks is recommended for health workers and people with respiratory illness.
“There is now a current shortage of this valuable commodity and let us give them to those who need them most, especially the health workers,” she said.
“Currently, since there is no community transmission of the novel coronavirus in the Philippines, we are not recommending its use for the general public who do not have respiratory symptoms,” she added.
Instead, the health official advised the public to practice proper hygiene by regularly washing their hands. She also advised people to avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands or unwashed hands.
“We need to observe good hand hygiene and we need to eat and drink from safe, clean and reliable sources,” she said.—AAC
Starting Thursday (January 9), 16 public hospitals in Metro Manila will be on code white alert in preparation for the Traslacion.
There will also be 14 health response teams to be deployed in strategic areas during the Traslacion to provide emergency medical services.
In a statement, the Department of Health (DOH) said “medical specialists are placed on stand-by for the immediate treatment of incoming patients, while emergency service personnel, nursing, and administrative personnel are placed on on-call status for immediate mobilization.”
The DOH also advised the public to wear comfortable clothes, protective foorwear, and hats to prevent heat exhaustion. The health department also advised to bring umbrella or ponchos in case of rain.
The public is also advised not to wear jewelries or bring expensive gadgets.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
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