Sunday, 21 January, 2018

Depression leading cause of illness worldwide

Halifax bakery doctor win national mental health awardsMore Halifax bakery doctor win national mental health awardsMore
Melissa Porter | 19 April, 2017, 01:10

The United Nations' World Health Organisation celebrates World Health Awareness Day each year on April 7.

Moreover, this year, the theme of the World Health Day campaign is depression. Depression affects people of all ages from all walks of life and in all countries.

Left untreated, Moeti said depression can impair an individual's ability to cope with daily activities and can have devastating consequences for relationships with families and friends.

At its worst, depression can lead to suicide, now the second leading cause of death in 15 to 29 to year olds.

He said "we should strive for early recognition of depression, provide treatment and help in preventing suicides".

It is estimated that more than 300 million people worldwide are now living with depression, which is an invisible illness.

In many countries of the world, there is little or no support available for people with mental health disorders.

World Health Day takes place once a year and it is a time that the World Health Organization uses to shine light on certain medical conditions.

On average, just 3 per cent of government health budgets is invested in mental health, varying from less than 1% in low-income countries to 5 per cent in high-income countries.

On the occasion of the World Health Day, an enlightening play was performed here today to fight the superstitions and stigma surrounding depression - the leading cause of disability and ill health worldwide. According to a baseline study carried out in Qatar in 2014, the barriers preventing those seeking professional help are predominantly related to fear of stigma. In this hurry and corporate lives, people are neglecting about their health. On a more personal level, depression is not often discussed among family and friends because of a strong preference towards dealing with issues themselves rather than burdening others with their problem.

Many suffered from depression and got cured, but many more continued living with depression and did not seek appropriate help, he said.

HT spoke to Professor B N Gangadhar, director of the National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) at Bangalore, who has been working on spreading awareness about mental health disorders.

"Even in high-income countries, almost 50% of people with depression do not get treatment". Additionally, patients with these diseases are more likely to develop depression.

"WHO is committed to supporting countries to address it as an important public health problem". This can be done by talking and listening to them, helping and supporting them to break free from depression. We do not choose to be depressed.

So what can you do if you feel depressed or know someone who is depressed?