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Forum talks about depression and violence against women and children

“The age of machismo is over. Now is the era of equality. Our partner is really our ‘better half,’” says, Prof. Nestor Yunque, UPV Vice Chancellor for Administration who welcomed the attendees of the forum on “Depression and Violence against Women and Children.”

The event was held on March 9, 2016, at the auditorium of the Iloilo City campus as one of the activities that the UPV Gender and Development Program (GDP) has organized in line with the celebration of Women’s Month.

 Yunque also pointed out that when partners treat each other equally and creates an atmosphere of peace and security, this results in productivity.

Noted psychologist/psychiatrist in Iloilo City, Dr. Daisy Chua-Daquilanea was the featured speaker of the forum which was attended by students and faculty of the various colleges and universities in Iloilo City. She was introduced by Dr. Barby Badayos-Jover, Director of GDP. Also in attendance were representatives of various government agencies and members of UGSAD. UGSAD is the regional gender resource center of Western Visayas, one of the surviving and active centers in the country. UPV GDP is the coordinator and secretariat of UGSAD.

Prior to her talk, a video was shown depicting domestic violence told from the point of view of a young girl and how it has affected her self-esteem and sense of self-worth.

Daquilanea pointed out that depression is present in children who have been abused. They tend to be more depressed as adults compared to those who have not been subjected to abuse, indicating a long term consequence of the abuse.

She also defined depression as more than just a feeling of sadness. Its symptoms include the following: persistent feeling of sadness (more than two weeks), persistent lack of interest or pleasure in activities that are usually enjoyable, weight and appetite changes, changes in sleep pattern, restlessness or feeling slowed down, fatigue or loss of energy, feeling of hopelessness, worthlessness or excessive guilt, indecisiveness or loss of concentration, anxiety, and recurrent thoughts of suicide or death.

Those that suffer depression may have a mild, moderate or severe form of the malady. She said that those that have the severe form are the ones that need watching.

She also discussed the symptoms of depression in children, teenagers and the elderly. The children’s symptoms include fear of going to school, excessively clingy to parents and poor growth. The teenagers include poor performance in school, alcohol and drug abuse, conduct/behavior problems, sexual promiscuity, and running away from home while the elderly is beset by memory problems.

Women and children who have been subjected to domestic violence and suffer from depression as a consequence need first and foremost a strong support system to deal with their depression. Children need to be processed on what they went through so that they will not be prone to depression. Adult treatment include: anti-depressant medicine, psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy.

According to her, depression that often leads to substance abuse such as alcohol is one of the most prone to suicide. She urged the audience to be observant and vigilant if they have family members who might be suffering from depression and will need help and intervention.

Ms. Angie Tanongtanong of the Department of Health closed the forum by announcing that the DOH has increased its budget for mental related medical needs.

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