Monday, April 8, 2019

Facts About Depression and Other Mental Disorders

Every year, World Health Day is celebrated on 7th April with a distinct theme. While last year's focus was on diabetes, this year 2019, the spotlight is on one of the most underrated mental disorders - depression. Most people don't talk about it, while others simply don't treat it as a severe, debilitating ailment. A quick look at the statistics is enough to understand the appalling severity of the rising number of depression cases. Depression, when unchecked can assume a menacing character with many succumbing to it and ending their lives. Depression can affect a person's overall well-being. People suffering from depression can experience difficulty in carrying out their day to day activities. They may feel a sudden withdrawal from activities that were once enjoyable to them. Social aloofness is also one of the characteristics.

The ailment can also significantly affect the family of the person suffering. Unexplained 
mood swings, irritability and other symptoms can often take a toll on the family members. Patients of depression must, therefore, be provided with behavioural and psychiatric therapies with the help of certified therapists.

"At worst, depression can lead to suicide, now the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year olds," WHO. Depression in people rose by 18% between 2005 and 2015. It is also the largest cause of disability in the world with most people falling prey to it from low to middle-income countries. Suicide rate are also high in low to middle-income countries in young people ageing 20-25. WHO's study depicts more suicide cases in men as compared to women all across the globe.

This World Health Day is not only dedicated to understanding depression better but embracing the wide spectrum of mental disorders as well. The day calls for developing empathy towards every sad face and a will to pierce through the veils of loneliness that might push somebody into depression.
Here are a few facts about mental health and related disorders that you must know:
1. Close to 20% of the world's children and adolescents have mental disorders or problems.
2. About half of the mental disorders begin before the age of 14.
3. Mental and substance use disorders are the leading cause of disability across the world.
4. Close to 8 lakh people commit suicide every year.
5. Mental disorders increase the risk of other diseases like HIV, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and vice-versa.
WHO suggests five essential ways to overcome better service availability for people suffering from mental disorders

·         Mental health should be a significant part of the public health agenda of the country
·         Optimum funding for research and to facilitate better services
·         Better organization of mental health services and its integration within primary care
  •    Adequate and trained human resources for mental healthcare
  •    Proper public mental health leadership
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