What is Depression?

Effects of Depression in Your Body

Depression is one of the most common mental health illnesses in the United States, affecting about 26 percent of adults. Depression is technically a mental disorder, but it also affects your physical health and well-being.

Sadness touches all of our lives at different times, but depression can have enormous depth and staying power. It is more than a passing bout of sadness or dejection, or feeling down in the dumps. It can leave you feeling continuously burdened and can sap the joy out of once-pleasurable activities.

Below are some of the most common symptoms of depression, as well as how depression can affect your entire body, especially if left untreated.

  • Feelings of sadness or emptiness
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble with memory or decision
  • Preoccupation with death
  • Risk of heart attack
  • Feelings of clinginess
  • Constricted blood vessels
  • Increased pain sensitivity
  • Lower sex-drive
  • Fatigue
  • Weakened immune system

Feeling sad or anxious at times is a normal part of life, but if these feelings last more than two weeks they could be symptoms of depression. It’s estimated that each year 17 million American adults will experience depression. However, clinical depression, especially left untreated, can interrupt your day-to-day life and cause a ripple effect of additional symptoms.

Depression affects how you feel and can also cause changes in your body. Major depression (a more advanced form of depression) is considered a serious medical condition that may have a dramatic effect on your quality of life.

Impact of Mental Illness

Leading Cause of Suicide

Suicide, which is often associated with symptoms of mental illness, is the 10th leading cause of death the U.S. and the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 15-34.These are scary statistics, because mental illness affects everyone.

Preventing mental illness and promoting good mental health involves actions to create living conditions and environments that support mental health and allow people to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles. These include a range of actions to increase the chances of more people experiencing better mental health, such as

  • Early childhood interventions (for example, home visits for pregnant women and programs that help young children build social and emotional skills).
  • Social support for elderly persons.
  • Programs targeted to people affected by disasters or other traumatic events.
  • Mental health interventions at work (for example, stress prevention programs).
  • Violence prevention strategies (for example, reducing violence in the community and the home).
  • Campaigns to change the culture of mental health so that all of those in need receive the care and support they deserve.

Serious mental illness costs in the United States amount to $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year. Whereas, adults living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions.

What part are you playing in intervening the global mental health crisis? Join us in raising awareness and promoting mental health in Tanzania @ https://goto.gg/43579

What is Mental Illness?

Causes & Common Mental Illnesses

According to the CDC, a person’s mental health can change over time, depending on many factors.  When the demands placed on a person exceed their resources and coping abilities, their mental health could be impacted. For example, if someone is working long hours, caring for an ill relative or experiencing economic hardship they may experience poor mental health.

Mental illnesses are conditions that affect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood or behavior, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Such conditions may be occasional or long-lasting (chronic) and affect someone’s ability to relate to others and function each day.

Mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States with more than 50% diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime.

There is no single cause for mental illness. A number of factors can contribute to risk for mental illness, such as

Stay tuned for further discussion on types and impact of mental illness, mental health promotion, prevention and much more…

Yoga for Anxiety and Depression

Can Yoga Help with Anxiety and Depression?

According to the Harvard Mental Health Letter, recent studies suggest that Yoga, an ancient physical exercise that involves different body poses, breathing techniques, and meditation can:

  • Reduce the impact of stress
  • Help with anxiety and depression
  • Be a self-soothing technique similar to meditation, relaxation, and exercise
  • Improve energy

As the exercise focuses on deep, controlled breathing, encouraging a greater mind-body awareness, after years of doing yoga, some people find that the practice transforms their lives to an even greater degree.


They have a different perspective on the meaning and purpose of their life, and their goals become less materialistic and more spiritual and charitable.

Dr. Khalsa

Yoga, with its gentle, calming, and fluid nature, allows for flexibility in its poses, so people of all levels can practice. Emphasizing breath, concentration, and smooth movement, you’ll be encouraged to focus on positive images to calm the body and mind.

As exercise, yoga is a natural way to increase serotonin production. According to the Journal of Psychiatry and NeuroscienceTrusted Source, serotonin production plays a role in the treatment of depression. Serotonin is believed to play a major role in happiness.

Yoga also increases your heart rate variability (HRV), or change in time between heart beats, by increasing the relaxation response over the stress response in the body. A high HRV means that your body is better at self-monitoring or adapting, particularly to stress.

Many people such as myself use yoga therapy to manage mental and emotional problems, such as stress, anxiety, or depression. We would love to hear what has worked for you before, and if you would like to give Yoga a try, schedule a FREE Discovery Class, a 30-min session where I’ll introduce you to our science-based approach to wellness.

What is Mental Health?

Why is Mental Health Important to Our Overall Health?

As it becomes clear how few, inaccessible and desperately needed services for mental health care are, more dialogue happens about mental health and how we are all affected.

So what is mental health? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explain this burden of disease as ⬇️

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.


Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

The CDC

Mental and physical health are equally important components of overall health.  Mental illness, especially depression, increases the risk for many types of physical health problems, particularly long-lasting conditions like stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Similarly, the presence of chronic conditions can increase the risk for mental illness.

Can your mental health change over time? Follow the series for further discussion on mental illness, common mental illnesses and causes. Health is Wealth my friends❣️❣

Patience During Hard Times

by Suzan Njana
Wisdom&Wellness Counselor

Kizani, Dar es salaam

Kayegele Ka Mhande Jina Bulilo

Nyamwezi Proverb

We referenced this proverb for women married to excessively drunk men – which speaks of preparation bambara nuts – traditional Nyamwezi tribe food, delicious but hard, round seeds that are difficult to handle during preparation and cooking.

This wisdom served women in tough marriages with a comforting reminder that regardless of the husband’s drunk behavior, he still takes care of his family by financing for the necessary household needs. The wisdom helped in creating peace and harmony within the family by encourage wife and family members to withstand some bad behavior and hardship of the like, provided the man can support the family financially.

Due to the increased divorce rates across the globe, we all need to practice patience in our marriages because hardship will be there somehow, so instead of immediately giving up on the marriage, perhaps it is better to seek the wisdom of those who have lived through a similar situation, as they might be able to advise you on how they handled and thrived in the situation.

In Swahili:
Hali ya njugu ni ngumu, zinarukaruka na kuteleza ukizishika hata unapozichemsha kwenye chungu. Pia ni ngumu kuiva. Hali hii inamsumbua mpishi japo njugu ni nzuri sana na tamu kamą chakula.

Maana yake mtu huwezi kuacha kula njugu kutokana na usumbufu wake unapoziandaa, kwa kuzingatia njugu ni nzuri na tamu kula. Katika maisha yote na hasa ya ndoa kuna vikwazo na mafanikio, hivyo usimuache mume kwa sababu ya shida yake moja tu ukadharau mema anayokufanyia na familia yote. Badala yake shukuru na kuvumilia ndoa yenu cha mradi anakupatia mahitaji muhimu ya familia.

Wakati huohuo pata njia nyingine muafaka ya kumpeleka kwenye huduma za ushauri zinaxotolewa na serikali ili apunguxze su kuacha usumbufu alionao.

There’s More Than One Way to Skin a Cat

Susan Njana

Wisdom&Wellness Counselor – Kizani

In my native tongue – Kinyamwezi, the saying goes “Wa Matama Abili Akapyaga“. The analogy we always referred to when I was a young girl was “When eating we use both cheeks to rotate food in the mouth – to create comfort and avoid burning when eating hotter food.”

This wisdom is meant to encourage a person not to despair in problems because there are alternative means to a solution. For instance, by seeking advice from elders.

We, the Wisdom&Wellness Counselors are here to walk with you in your life’s journey.

In Swahili:
Binadamu tunatumia mashavu mawili wakati wa kula chakula – ni vigumu kuungua maana utakipeleka upande wa pili wa shavu ili usiungue
. Ukipata shida katika maisha usikate tamaa mapema sababu zipo njia mbalimbali za kukusaidia shida yako
. Usitegemee njia moja kutaua matatizo yako
. Vumilia katika shida hali ukitafuta mbinu zingine za kumaliza shida yako

35 going on 1

Looking back at the last 34 years, in so many ways I am just starting to understand some of this. I know I understand very little. There’s still so much to learn, so much wonder to explore. And as I blow out my metaphorical 35 candles today, I wonder to myself, how did I get so lucky?

I’ve long since given up on the fantasy of yearly significant resolutions, now I just try for small steps along then way. I do however vow to strengthen my resolve to stay fluid – too often I am too rigid, my secret ingredient in all my recipes for disaster 🤫.

My family, friends & more family I acquired along the way, I am truly grateful for your presence in my life. 2020 was a rollercoaster, I wish you all a merry holiday season and a serene 2021. Hope to see you on the mat for a little mindfulness practice. Everyday I’m grateful to be alive again. Yes, Again!

#Love for Humanity & Social Justice

#GivingTuesday & Psychosocial Interventions

Raising Awareness & Promoting Mental Health in Tanzania

Tap Elderly Women’s Wisdom for Youth has some exciting news – This year TEWWY is participating in #GivingTuesday! GlobalGiving is offering a $1,000,000 Incentive Fund which will be distributed to participants proportionally based on final fundraising totals.

GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that takes place December 1 this year. We’d love if you participated with us. The best way to do that is to share our cause on social media using the hashtag #GivingTuesday and to join millions of global givers on Dec 1 by donating at HTTPS://GOTOGG/43579

You’ll automatically be entered to WIN a FREE 1-Month Private, Group or Trapeze Yoga Class with Ney

Your donation will help:

*Train retired elderly women – Wisdom&Wellness Counselors – in Interpersonal Counseling.

*Wisdom&Wellness Counselors facilitate safe-spaces (Wisdom&Wellness Circles) for people to share experiences as they find a sense of belonging in building community through:

*Interpersonal Counseling (IPC)
*Group Interpersonal Therapy (IPT-G)
*Life-skills Building
*Psychiatrist & Psychologist Referral

#mentalhealth #selfcare #endthestigma #wellness #yoga #yogatrapeze #community #PsychosocialDisability #SuicidePrevention #InterpersonalCounseling #fundraising #GivingTuesdayTZ #GlobalGiving

Social Anxiety & Psychosocial Disability

You are pretty intense. When my mentor said those words to me as I wrapped my arms around my stomach grimacing in mental agony from the overwhelming thoughts running through my head in our discussion, we didn’t have to discuss what that means to either of us, sometimes labels do serve a purpose.

I feel a lot. Which means I can also get very overwhelmed. This happens more often than I’m happy to be aware of now. I find it difficult to be in social situations I can’t control. Not because I’m afraid of judgement from others, truth be told, I never finish judging myself to get to that phase.

I know better. I should have done better. Why is it not 💯? If I did not give it my very best, why bother show up at all?⬅️ Very dangerous. Even though I know this, I still struggle with this EVERYDAY.

I would like to show up in a BIG WAY. For myself & for my community. Even with this little-big hurdle, I know there’s space for everybody in there, and that I’m not alone. Clearly not purely altruistic, but also to help give voice to others out there trying to find their place. We all want to belong. The beauty of humans is that we are so different but SIMPLY the same.

We are pleased to start virtually hosting Wisdom&Wellness Talks – safe-space for all to share what matters to them, because YOU MATTER. When COVID-safe, we shall continue facilitating Wisdom&Wellness Circles 👉🏽 in-person safe-spaces facilitated by trained retired elderly women in interpersonal psychotherapy counseling.

Click on the button above to join the talks 👆🏽

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