World Health Day: Let’s talk about depression

We have all had a flu, up to several times in our lives.
Depression is the flu of mental disorders.

Depression has become a huge concern.

It is estimated that more than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression, making it the leading cause of disability. According to World Health Organization (WHO), depression was  the third leading cause of the global burden of disease in 2004 and will move into the first place by 2030.

In Bangladesh, almost five per cent  of the adult population suffer from depression. Another survey states that  depression rate among children in Bangladesh is 1 per cent. In other words, nearly 7 million Bangladeshis suffer from depression. Depression affects people of all ages, from all walks in life, in all countries. People with severe depression have a life expectancy of 10 to 25 years shorter than the general population. Depression causes mental anguish and impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest  tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends and the ability to earn a living. At worst, depression can lead to suicide, now the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year olds.

World Health Day 2017 theme is  “Depression: Let’s Talk!”

WHO, has dedicated  this year’s World Health Day (celebrated every April 7) to depression. The Day provides an opportunity  to get involved in activities that can lead to better physical and mental health.

The current global financial crisis has added to the societal burden that we face across the globe and has resulted in an increased number of people developing depression. Whether mild, moderate or severe, depression contributes significantly to the burden of disability and affects the quality of life people enjoy.

Depression: How bad can it get?

Though depression is one of the main causes of suicide, not everyone resorts to ending their life. Depression is scary because it is a recipe for slow death. It leaves traces of several other illnesses affecting both the mind and the body. The condition makes a person experience a wide range of emotions like sadness, anxiety, hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, irritation, anger, restlessness. This, in turn, deteriorates a person’s will to stay healthy, making the body run background processes that limit well-being. It makes people prone to physical illnesses such as diabetes and cardiac complexities among many others.

There are effective treatments for depression.

Treatment usually involves  therapy and/or prescribed medication. Currently, fewer than 25 per cent  of people across the world have access to treatment for depression. On top of that, a better understanding of what depression is and how it can be prevented and treated will help reduce the stigma associated with the condition, which is often the reason why people don’t seek help.

A recovery model developed by WHO emphasizes the following: finding hope, personal empowerment in one’s own treatment and wellness, expanding knowledge about illness and treatment, establishing support networks and seeking inclusion, developing and refining coping strategies, creating a secure home base, defining a sense of meaning for life.

Averting the global crisis, we require continued collaboration between governments, donors, non-governmental organizations, pharmaceutical companies and civil society to pull our resources and fight this global epidemic.

Share-net Bangladesh makes its contribution by providing  more access to information and health services for people living with depression.


#WorldHealthDay2017 #Depression #LetsTalk

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