Let’s talk about depression

Picture by Ryan Melaugh (CC BY 2.0)


“It makes everyday a struggle from getting out of bed from socializing to motivating yourself to do any work by finding a reason too,” said Gary Hughes, 24 from Bangor, north Wales who has been diagnosed two years ago. I interviewed him to get some insight into this particular mental issue and these are the results of my research.


What is actually depression?


According to DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), depression can be diagnosed with the occurrence of symptoms including sense of restlessness, insomnia, poor concentration, severe fatigue, suicidal thoughts with an emphasis on loss of interest in activities one once enjoyed.


When Gary Hughes was asked about how it feels like to be depressed, he said: “It’s strange, people assume it is some sort of sadness and in a way, it is but it is more to do with feeling no motivation and a lot of nothingness.”


According to NHS, about 4% of children aged five to 16 in the UK are whether anxious or depressed. In addition, in the USA about 14.8 million adults suffer from depression, as reported by the National Institute of Mental Health. Moreover, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that 350 million people are globally affected by this illness. Unfortunately, many people with this particular clinically diagnosed disorder do not seek help. Such practice can worsen the issue and possibly lead to suicide when not dealt with properly.


What can cause it?


There is no specific cause of a depression but aspects like bereavement, numerous failures and childhood problems of neglect or abuse. In addition, people with a history of depression in family are more likely to go through it themselves.


Furthermore, smoking has been linked with this particular mental disorder as nicotine affects brain’s chemical balance, which results in higher levels of dopamine as well as serotonin. According to the Journal of Neuroscience, they play a significant role in the loss of cognitive reasoning, determination of human behaviour and learning process.  Dopamine also helps with decision-making as well as motivation. Therefore, staying away from cigarettes could help with preventing depression.


Moreover, post traumatic stress disorder could potentially contribute to the development of the mental issue due to arousing thoughts it creates. However, there is a link between traumatic events occurring in our lives and depression but it does not determine whether one is going to suffer from it. It clearly depends on how we respond as well as react to particular problems and how we face these issues.


Treating depression


There are different types of depression which affect peoples’ lives in different ways but seeking for a professional help in occurring circumstances is essential.


Mr Hughes was treated with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy method, which involved seeing a councillor as well as psychiatrist few times a week to find the root of the problem and trying to help with overcoming the issue.


 “Having people there for you and seeking help are main ways that helped with me with depression. However, engaging in hobbies and work can also help you as media can be a pretty powerful thing such as films and games as it helped me forget about problems and live in a world that would allow me to be someone else,” said Hughes.


In addition, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, exercise is a probable pathway of dealing with depression. Moreover, healthy balanced diet as well as minimal or no use of alcohol can help with battling the disorder.


“I think anything is possible in a sense and I think depression can be battled and overcome but it doesn’t mean it will be easy, and sometimes it never completely goes away but if you are willing to put up a fight then it can be achieved.


I would advise to get help as soon as possible as the longer you leave it the worse it could get, and remember some people are there for you that be friends of family and don’t keep everything inside as it can be damaging,” he added.


Aleksandra Kozlowska

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Wood warns about the future of Wales

plaid cymru defending wales
Plaid Cymru’s poster

Wood warns about the future of Wales

Leader of Plaid Cymru claimed her concerns about current situation in Wales including English nationalism, during Wednesday’s election campaign in local pub Skerries located in Bangor, North Wales.

She is not only worried about complications that Brexit is going to cause including loss of jobs, risks for higher education as well as loss of funding from European Union, which annually equals £634 million, but also about peoples’ livelihoods.

As a candidate for a National Assembly, she is aware that this election is going to be dominated by this topic and therefore she wants to make sure that these issues, which she considers crucial, are at the heart of the agenda.

“English nationalism is on the rise in the Conservatist Party. Therefore when Scotland leaves the UK, there’s going to be something called Wales and England entity,” she said.

“The question for us in Wales is what happens to us in that scenario in an increased size of a Tory mandate and my belief is that we have to send the strongest team of Plaid Cymru MPs to Westminster or otherwise we risk our voice not being heard at all.

“Wales has hardly being mentioned since the vote to leave EU.”

Recent Tory government’s two-child tax cap and rape clause policies are also part of Wood’s concerns.

The Rape Clause obliges women to prove that they have been raped in order to be qualified for child tax credits for a third child. Wood describes them as “inhumane” and “cruel”.

Wales and Brexit

Plaid Cymru leader wants to focus on avoiding hard Brexit rather than having another referendum and try to overturn it.

When asked about making the transition smoother she said: “I think we need to try and minimise the disruption and uncertainty as much as possible and that is why continued membership of the single market is really important.”

Leaving single market would risk tariffs being put on imported as well as exported goods. For example, airbus factory in Broughton, North Wales takes parts from other European countries and then sends the wings to Toulouse in France where they make the whole aeroplane.

If they had to pay 10% tariff for the parts coming in and another 10% for the wings going out, that would equal 20% increase cost of every unit of the production.

Therefore, this practice could put such businesses as well as companies across different sectors at risk.

Funding cuts

In addition, according to the Public Policy Institute for Wales, leaving European Union would mean that structural funding as well as farming subsidies would no longer be provided.

Currently, farmers receive £250 million per year with an additional £665 million over the course of six years destined for rural development.

As a part of European Union trade agreement, they also benefit from export tariff reductions as well as import quotas.

Moreover, Wales gets more funding per person than other countries in the United Kingdom, which in 2014 equalled £628 per person as states Joseph Rowntree Foundation.


According to CEBR (Centre of Economics and Business Research), around 200,000 jobs in Wales are dependent on export to numerous European Union countries.

Therefore, there is a risk to job security to those who work in this particular sector, as they are built upon United Kingdom’s access to the single market.

Voting intention 5-7 May WALES-01

Plaid Cymru target seats

  • Ynys Môn
  • Rhondda
  • Blaenau Gwent
  • Llanelli
  • Ceredigion

2013 National Assembly election results

  • Rhun ap lorwerth, Plaid Cymru- The Party of Wales, 12.601 votes
  • Stephen William Churchman, Welsh Liberal Democrats, 309 votes
  • Neil Fairlamb, Welsh Conservative Party Candidate, 1.843 votes
  • Nathan Gill, UKIP Wales, 3.099 votes
  • Kathrine Jones, Socialist Labour Party, 348 votes
  • Tal Michael, Welsh Labour, 3.435 votes

By Aleksandra Kozlowska

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Ukrainian citizen accused of robbery

villa malibu robbery zegrze
Villa Malibu in Zegrze


The owner of Villa Malibu in Zegrze was robbed while working in the hotel.

A handbag containing watch, personal documents and cash was worth up to £1000 were stolen, according to Ewa Strzeszewska, 41.

Oleksii Potapov, 45, accessed the entrance door of the hotel and took the bag from the door handle upstairs, while Mrs Strzeszewska was cleaning one of the rooms.

She did not realize it was missing until she was about to finish work. At first, victim thought that her husband might have moved it or made a prank on her so she called him and checked security cameras.

“When we went through the monitoring system’s footage, it was clear to us that I got robbed. We could see exactly how he looked and which way he went after leaving the hotel,” said Ewa Strzeszewska.

“I didn’t expect anyone coming upstairs so I hang the bag on the door handle,”- she added.

The suspect was described by the victim as a tall and massive individual with a long beard.

Chasing the robber

In addition, footage revealed that after the incident, the suspect got on a 735 bus line in Warsaw’s direction.

After realizing what had happened, victim immediately called the police, while her husband decided not to wait and catch the suspect by himself.

Marcin Strzeszewski, 39, victim’s husband approached Potapov after chasing and stopping the bus by blocking it with a car.

“I asked the bus driver to open the door so I was able to capture the robber. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the things that he stole with him so I forced him to tell me what he’s done with it,” said Mr Strzeszewski.

Potapov showed where he dumped the handbag nearby a local shop but there was no money or watch inside.

Victim’s husband added: “He must have left the content on the bus as after searching him, he didn’t have it.”

Despite Marcin Strzeszewski’s request, no one was willing to help him with the suspect at the bus stop. However, his courage and determination allowed him to detain Potapov until police arrived 20 minutes later.

“Police searched him once again but they didn’t find anything. In addition, he didn’t want to reveal what he’s done with it,” she said.

“I was frustrated as I had just taken out the cash from the cash machine that day. I had almost £300 in this bag,”- Mrs Strzeszewska added.

An investigation was launched and the suspect is found to be a Ukrainian immigrant previously being accused of other robberies that took place in Ukraine.

Potapov was charged £500 that he has to pay back to the victim after pleading guilty to the robbing intent.


According to district head, Jan Grabiec’s crime rate report from year 2016, 385 crimes took place in Zegrze with a detection rate 64.6%. These include robbery, burglary, malicious damage, assault and armed robbery.

Main factors of mentioned above crimes include:

  • Large recreational area with around 30 thousand garden plots and around 50 thousand leisure centres
  • Closeness to Warsaw
  • Constant development of the city and boroughs around it with an increase of shops, restaurants, public agencies as well as pubs

Aleksandra Kozlowska

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