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The Number 1 Cause of Ill Health Worldwide

Depression is the leading cause of disability and ill health worldwide.

There are over 300 million living with depression around the world.

This represents an increase of 18% between 2005 and 2015, according to figures put out by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Almost 50% of people who are depressed do not get any treatment, even in high-income countries.

Two important reasons are:

  • Lack of support for people with mental health problems,
  • and stigma.

The WHO is currently running a year-long campaign called “Depression: let’s talk”.

Dr Shekhar Saxena, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO, said:

“The continuing stigma associated with mental illness was the reason why we decided to name our campaign ‘Depression: let’s talk’.
For someone living with depression, talking to a person they trust is often the first step towards treatment and recovery.”

Depression usually includes the following, lasting for two weeks or more:

  • loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyed,
  • persistent sadness,
  • and problems with everyday activities.

Dr Saxena said:

“A better understanding of depression and how it can be treated, while essential, is just the beginning.
What needs to follow is sustained scale-up of mental health services accessible to everyone, even the most remote populations in the world.”

 

source: PsyBlog