Depression: let’s talk

The founding day of world health organization (WHO), 7th April is celebrated as world health day. On this day, WHO creates attention to a major global health concern each year. This year the theme is Depression: let’s talk, which aims to boost up strategies on depression and its management.


Depression is an illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks. It badly impacts on individual’s ability to perform simplest daily tasks. Sometimes it causes devastating consequences for a relationship with family and friends. At worst, depression may even lead to self-imposed injuries and suicide. People with depression shows several symptoms like loss of energy, change in eating and sleeping habit, anxiety, reduced concentration and confidence in decisions, feeling of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness and tendency of self-harm or suicide. Poverty, unemployment, unfavorable life events, physical illness, abuse of alcohol and drugs are major risk factors for depression.

Know more about the statistics of depression

  • An estimated 350 million people are affected by depression
  • More women are affected by depression than men
  • Between 1990 and 2013, the number of people suffering from depression and/or anxiety increased by 50%.
  • The number of people living with depression is increased by over 18% between 2005 and 2015.
  • Depression is considered as the largest cause of disability worldwide and the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.
  • Depression is responsible for 850,000 deaths every year.
  • The highest percentage of disease burden is among people living in low and middle-income countries. Even in high-income countries, nearly 50% of people with depression do not get treatment.
  • Depression alone accounts for 10% of years lived with disability globally.
  • Depression and anxiety cost the global economy more than 1 trillion USD each year.
  • In India, nearly 15% adults need active intervention for one or more mental health issues.
  • One in 20 Indians suffers from depression

Awareness about depression

Depression can affect anyone, so everyone needs awareness regardless of age, sex or social status. If depression left untreated, that can leads to isolate people themselves at their family, work place and community life.

WHO have chosen three groups who needs special attention towards depression,

  • Adolescents and young adults
  • Women of childbearing age (particularly following childbirth)
  • Older adults (over 60s)

WHO takes initiative through campaigns to better inform the general public about depression, its causes, possible consequences including suicide; and availability of help and support for prevention and treatment.  Campaigns also aim to provide support for the people who live with depression through encouraging them to seek help; and facilitate their family, friends, and colleagues to provide support.

Deal with depression

Depression is the most common mental health disorder that can be prevented and treated, at relatively low cost. Talking with people to whom you trust is the first step. Management can be through a talking therapy or antidepressant medication or a combination of these. Here are the recommendations that can help you to deal with your depression,

  • Talk to someone whom you trust and cares you
  • Keep a lively contact with your family and friends. Stay connected and updated
  • Be dynamic with the activities that you used to enjoy before
  • Do meditation and exercise regularly. Keep your mind and body stress-free
  • Follow regular eating and sleeping habits
  • Accept the fact that you might have depression and thus adjust your expectations
  • Avoid intake of alcohol and illicit drugs, that may worsen depression
  • Seek professional help and support if required. The right help can make you better.

At HealthMinds, we believe that creating awareness about social and healthcare related issues is part of our corporate social responsibility. Share this post and be the part of world health day 2017.

-Anas Abdul

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