Published: Sun, April 09, 2017
Medical | By Sammy Miller

Youngsters are more prone to depression

Youngsters are more prone to depression

In celebrating the World Health Day and this year's global health awareness theme focusing on depression, the biggest cause of ill health and disability, Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah called on people living in depression to seek and to get help.

With the aim to mobilize action on depression, this year's World Health Day campaign theme is "Depression: let's talk".

Depression is a common mental illness characterised by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that people normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for 14 days or longer.

She said that if left untreated, the most severe form of depression can lead to suicide and asked communities to openly talk about the syndrome to prevent hardships and precious lives being cut short.

Being the single largest cause of morbidity globally, depression is a public health priority that concerns all, said Dr Henk Bekedam, WHO representative to India.

A new campaign by World Health Organization titled Depression: Let's talk, is set out to spread awareness amongst the people regarding the helpful deeds they can do by approaching and talking to people suffering from depression.

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The first step towards treatment and recovery is often talking to a person you trust.

The WHO noted that at a global level, over 300 million people are estimated to suffer from depression, equivalent to 4.4 per cent of the world's population and almost that number again suffers from a range of anxiety disorders.

"If a suicide prone person has a genuine friend to talk to, many instances of suicide can be reduced". Not only is their health affected but the economy suffers because they are not able to work.

A senior doctor from Masina Hospital said, "Depression is the co-morbidity and it is very much common in our society which needs an immediate attention".

"A better understanding of what depression is will help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness". If the proper mental health treatment is not available, there is a economic loss globally of a trillion US dollars each year. The study calculated treatment costs and health outcomes in 36 low-, middle- and high-income countries for the 15 years from 2016 to 2030.

Dr Pablo Vandenabeele, Bupa's Clinical Director for Mental Health, has shared his five top tips on how to support a friend or loved one who has depression. Everyone pays if a person suffering from depression or another mental health illness can not work.

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