Depression: Let’s talk (World Health Day – April 7)
This World Health Day the campaign is focused on depression. Depression affects all sorts of people, across all countries and age groups. It impacts all aspects of people’s lives, making it difficult to carry out even the simplest of tasks.
Depression not only affects the person who has it, it also can have an awful effect on their relationships with family and friends. At its worst, depression may lead to suicide, with some pretty grim statistics showing this is the second leading cause of death among 15-25-year-olds.
Depression can be treated and even prevented! This World Health Day we at Chef Good want to help lift the stigma around depression, allowing people to learn more about how it can be prevented and treated and encouraging people to seek help.
What is depression?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) tells us: “Depression is an illness characterised 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.
“In addition, people with depression normally have several of the following symptoms: a loss of energy; a change in appetite; sleeping more or less; anxiety; reduced concentration; indecisiveness; restlessness; feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.”
The world-wide facts
- Common mental disorders are increasing worldwide. Between 1990 and 2013, the number of people suffering from depression and/or anxiety increased by nearly 50%. Close to 10% of the world’s population is affected by one or both of these conditions. Depression alone accounts for 10% of years lived with disability globally.
- In humanitarian emergencies and ongoing conflict, as many as 1 in 5 people are affected by depression and anxiety.
- Depression increases the risk of other noncommunicable diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease increase the risk of depression.
- Depression in women following childbirth can affect the development of new-borns.
- In many countries of the world, there is no, or very little, support available for people with mental health disorders. Even in high-income countries, nearly 50% of people with depression do not get treatment.
- Lack of treatment for common mental disorders has a high economic cost: new evidence from a study led by WHO shows that depression and anxiety disorders alone cost more than a trillion dollars’ worth of economic loss every year.
- The most common mental health disorders can be prevented and treated, at relatively low cost.
Where can I get help or find out more information?
For crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.