Mental Health Awareness Week (Day 3)

Day 3 – Depression

What is depression?
Depression is an illness characterized 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.

Information about depression
· 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.

What you can do if you think you are depressed

· Talk to someone you trust about your feelings. Most people feel better after talking to someone who cares about them.
· Seek professional help. Your local health-care worker or doctor is a good place to start.
· Remember that with the right help, you can get better.
· Keep up with activities that you used to enjoy when you were well.
· Stay connected. Keep in contact with family and friends.
· Exercise regularly, even if it’s just a short walk.
· Stick to regular eating and sleeping habits.
· Accept that you might have depression and adjust your expectations. You may not be able to accomplish as much as you do usually.
· Avoid or restrict alcohol intake and refrain from using illicit drugs; they can worsen depression.
· If you feel suicidal, contact someone for help immediately.

Depression is a common mental disorder that affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries!

Untreated depression can prevent people from working and participating in family and community life. At worst, depression can lead to suicide.

Depression can be effectively prevented and treated. Overcoming the stigma often associated with depression will lead to more people getting help. Talking with people you trust can be a first step towards recovery from depression.

Links to more info:
Depression: What you should know
Living with someone with depression?
Worried that your child is depressed?
Worried about the future? Preventing depression during your teens and twenties
Wondering why your new baby is not making you happy?
Staying positive and preventing depression as you get older
Do you know someone who may be considering suicide?
Do you feel like life is not worth living?

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