European Association for Counselling

Depression is the Leading Cause of Disability Worldwide

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March 31, 2017

Janice Williams

Displayed with permission from Newsweek

More than 322 million people across the globe are suffering from depression, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and the increasing number of people struggling with the debilitating disorder has caused significant economic damage.

The organization released updated figures depicting the severity of mental health issues around the world, citing an 18 percent spike in cases of depression between 2005 and 2015.

The report, released leading up to World Health Day on April 7, is a part of World Heal Organisation year-long Depression: let us talk campaign.

These new figures are a wake-up call for all countries to rethink their approaches to mental health and to treat it with the urgency that it deserves, WHO Chief Margaret Chan said in a statement.

Governments, employers and households have faced economic losses from depression. Depression, can cause lack of energy, drastic changes in sleeping and eating patterns, substance abuse, anxiety and other mental disorders.
The depression epidemic has led to a drop in worldwide productivity, costing the global economy more than $1 trillion annually, the report said.

Depression has also led to an annual rate of 800,000 worldwide deaths per year.

Despite the ubiquity of the problem, there’s a shortage of treatment options. More than 50 percent of depressed people do not receive treatment, and as the WHOs report said only three percent of government health budgets globally have invested in mental health.

`A better understanding of depression and how it can be treated, while essential, is just the beginning,` said Dr. Shekhar Saxena, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO.

What needs to follow is sustained scale-up of mental health services accessible to everyone, even the most remote populations in the world, she said.

March 31st in the UK was kindness day, why not decide to do a little kind act for someone EVERY DAY. It is a true win-win solution.

One of the best things you can do for your own healthy mind and body is to do something with no thought of return.

Depression is different things to different people there is not a one-size-fits-all solution there are different things you can try or help others try

  • Therapy can teach you lasting skills to help you fight depression
  • Medication is not your only option. Lifestyle changes can bring powerful relief.
  • Staying connected to others is an essential part of depression treatment
  • Regular exercise is a powerful antidepressant; it can be as effective as medication
  • It is important to rule out medical causes of depression, as treatment will be different

Depression is truly a global problem but one that we can all play a part of solving

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