“You were born with Wings, why prefer to Crawl through life?” Let’s talk-Depression and Mental Health Problem

Depression and mental health related problems are the leading cause of ill-health and disability worldwide. According to the latest estimates from WHO, more than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015. More than 80% of this disease is among people living in low or middle-income countries.

Globally, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15–29 years old. Depression is a common mental disorder that can impact one’s everyday life and can lead to suicide.

The World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated every year on 7th April, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as other related organizations. WHO has dedicated 2017 World Health Day to spread year-long awareness campaign on mental disorder which is “Depression: let’s talk”. This year’s world health day mainly focused on people’s suffering from the mental depression related problem.

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Facts about the Depression disorder:

  • Depression can co-occur with illnesses like diabetes, cancer, heart disease and Parkinson’s.
  • Depression is more common in women than men.
  • Depression can be long-lasting leading to an individual’s ability to cope with daily life.
  • Worldwide about 10% of pregnant women and 13% of women who just have given the birth experience a mental disorder, primarily depression. In developing countries, this is even higher, i.e. 15.6% during pregnancy and 19.8% after childbirth.
  • Among the various kinds of humanitarian emergencies, 1 in 5 people is affected by depression and anxiety.
  • Worldwide 10–20% of children and adolescents experience mental disorders.
  • On average, just 3% is government health budget is invested in mental health.
  • More than 60 countries have less than 1 psychiatrist per 100 000 population.
  • 800 000 persons approximately die from suicide globally each year (one death every 40 seconds).
  • Depression and anxiety lead to global economy loss of US $1 trillion/year.

In support of WHO’s campaign “Depression: let’s talk”, India through National Mental Health has conducted a survey during 2015–16 in the entire country to estimate the rate of occurrence of depression linked to disease and the suicide rate in the country.

Below is the key finding from the survey:

  • Nearly 150 million Indians with age 13+ are likely suffering from one or more mental health related problems.
  • 1 in 20 Indian’s suffers from depression.
  • The proportion of mental health disorder in young generation is about 7.3%.
  • Neurosis and stress related disorders affected twice as many women as compared to men.
  • Nearly 50% has moderate to severe disability.
  • Data indicated that 0.9% is at high risk of suicide.
  • Peoples in Urban population ranked high among the population with mental health problem.
  • Fewer than 2% had a severe mental illness like psychoses and bipolar disorder.

Factors Affecting the Mental health:

  • Some of the factors which increase the risk related to Depression are poverty, unemployment, relationship issues, illness & problems from substance abuse.
  • Biological, hormonal & psychosocial factors unique to women may be linked to their higher depression rate.
  • Past physical, sexual, or emotional abuse can increase the vulnerability to clinical depression later in life.
  • Certain medications and consumption of some drugs can increase the risk of depression.
  • Sadness or grief from the death or loss of a loved one may increase the risk of depression.
  • A family history of depression may increase the risk.
  • Sometimes depression co-exists with a major illness or may be triggered by another medical condition.

Symptoms of Depression:

  • Depression is an illness characterized by persistent sadness, loss of interest in activities, feeling of guilt and low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feeling of tiredness, poor concentration.
  • Common Depression symptoms among childhood include withdrawal from others, irritability, excessive crying, difficulty in concentrating in school.
  • Younger children’s may lose interest in playing; older children may show symptoms like sudden angry and sudden sadness.
  • Persistent crying, feeling overwhelmed and lack of bonding with the baby are some of the symptoms of depression in women following childbirth.
  • Some of the other common symptoms are:
  • Excessive fatigue and muscle weakness.
  • Palpitations and headaches.
  • Sweating and tremors.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Indigestion and stomach upsets.
  • Interrupted sleep and seeing nightmares.

How to fight against the Depression:

  • A healthy diet, physical activity and expressing yourself help to fight depression.
  • Treatment usually involves talking therapy or anti-depression medicine or both.
  • If you think you have depression then talk to someone who is close you and seek professional help.
  • Depression can be treated successfully at very low cost.
  • Physical exercises like Yoga, Aerobics, Thai chi, walking, running helps to relieve stress and anxiety and helps to fight depression.
  • An Ayurvedic medicine which deals with treating the imbalance in the chemicals (vata, pitta, kapha) of the body using the natural herbs and plants have proven to cure depression and mental health related problem in peoples.

Image and data from National Institute of Health India Survey 2015–2016.

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