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The Number 1 Cause of Ill Health Worldwide

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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
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