Every year on April 7th we celebrate World Health Day to remember the day that the World Health Organization was formed. (W.H.O.) Every year this day has a theme, and this year it’s Depression. Their slogan “Depression: Let’s Talk” is trying to get people to open up about their disorder and get the help they may need. They have several goals about what they want to see happen:
- the general public is better informed about depression, its causes and possible consequences, including suicide, and what help is or can be available for prevention and treatment
- people with depression seek help
- family, friends and colleagues of people living with depression are able to provide support
WHO defines a case of depression when a person has gone at least 2 weeks with persistent sadness and they don’t enjoy doing any of their normal activities, which prevents them from carrying out every day activities. There are a few more symptoms that people who are afflicted by depression may have:
- a loss of energy
- a change in appetite
- sleeping more or less
- reduced concentration
- feelings of worthlessness, guilt or hopelessness
- thoughts of self-harm or suicide
The number of people that have being diagnosed every year with depression has seen an 18% increase in the last decade. The low estimates have depression affecting 322 million people worldwide, about 4.4% of the population.
Depression can be effectively prevented and treated. Treatment usually involves either a talking therapy or antidepressant medication or a combination of these. Overcoming the stigma often associated with depression will lead to more people getting help.