Friday, April 7th is World Health Day to mark the anniversary of the World Health Organisation.
The theme for this year Is Depression.
The rationale for choosing this theme is due to the rising number of people living with depression across the world but a significantly low number of people coming forward seeking help. This is despite depression being a treatable illness. Stigma surrounding mental illness is considered as one of the main barriers for people accessing help. Therefore, the chosen theme to celebrate World Health Day is apt and an obvious one. This article is aimed at the public at large, aiming to generate a conversation about the what, how and why questions related to depression. The latter part is aimed at practitioners and policymakers in health care.
What is depression?
Depression is an illness characterised by persistent sadness (note the word persistent) and a loss of interest in activities that one normally used to enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities for at least two weeks. In other words, functional impairment (usual daily activities being affected) should exist, whether at work, home or both. While we all feel sad and low from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely and for longer periods – depression is more than just a low mood.
People with depression normally have several of the following symptoms; 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. These symptoms may vary depending on the severity, which can range from minimal, mild, moderate or severe. It is important to note that depression is not a sign of weakness or something to be ashamed of as it can affect anyone at any time. A qualified healthcare professional would be able to diagnose someone with depression.
To read Full details click on Depression the Curse of the World