Depression Is Most Widespread Disease, Says World Health Organization

Depression Is Most Widespread Disease, Says World Health Organization

Depression Is Most Widespread Disease, Says World Health Organization

Africa contributes about 30 million to the global figure, the agency also stated.

The World Health Day is celebrated every year on April 7 by the World Health Organisation.

A senior doctor from Masina Hospital said, "Depression is the co-morbidity and it is very much common in our society which needs an immediate attention".

He said people had a bad attitude toward the issue of depression and openly discriminated against and looked down upon those with the condition.

Depression is not a sign of personal weakness but can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender or socio-economic background.

If someone asked you to identify which illness is the leading contributor to disability, what would you say? "Almost half of these people live in the South-East Asia Region and Western Pacific Region, reflecting the relatively larger populations of those two Regions which include India and China", the document said. This is a confidential service where trained counsellors will listen and help immediately on the phone and follow up with other support if necessary. One of the important components (for treatment) is to talk, discuss and express feelings to the person you trust the most, which can be the first step towards recovery.

She said that early recognition of the symptoms was key to preventing depression from becoming a chronic illness. It is associated with feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, tiredness and poor concentration.

The major causes of depression include loss of loved ones or relationships, poverty, unemployment, physical illnesses, alcohol abuse, drug use as well as traumatic situations such as violence and war.

Appreciating the efforts, Mukherjee urged all to strive to make even greater progress in the efforts to create awareness about depression and focus on further strengthening our health care delivery systems. Now, more psychiatrics are recommending those who went into depression, apart from giving anti-depressant medicines, to go out and interact with friends and family.

This is nothing short of a public health crisis because untreated depression can have tragic consequences.

According to World Health Organization, more than 500 people from the Western Pacific Region commit suicide.

"The mental health workforce of psychiatric nurses, occupational therapists and social workers is woefully inadequate".

Trained human resources for better mental healthcare. Singh added that depression-related health services across the region must be made more accessible and of higher quality, and this is possible even in low- and middle-income settings.

It is celebrated each year on April 7, the day that World Health Organization was founded in 1948.

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.

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