About 280 million people globally have depression, says WHO

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Misbah Ali

About 3.8% of the global population has depression; this is about 280 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

As per the global health body, it is estimated that 5.0% of adults suffer from depression globally, not just, but depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global disease burden.

The American Psychiatric Association says that depression is a common mental health disorder which is also known as depressive disorder, it negatively affects how a person feels, how a person thinks, and how a person acts, it is common and fortunately treatable.

Mostly, it is mistaken with the usual mood fluctuations, but depression is different from it and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life.

Depression may become a serious health condition, at its worst, depression can lead to suicide.

In addition to that annually, over 7, 00,000 people die due to suicide, and it might be shocking to know that suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds, according to the WHO.

WHO estimated that the ten nations with the highest prevalence of depression are Ukraine (6.3%), United States (5.9%), Estonia (5.9%), Australia (5.9%), Brazil (5.8%), Greece (5.7%), Portugal (5.7%), Belarus (5.6%), Finland (5.6%), and Lithuania (5.6%).

While the ten nations with the lowest rates of depression are Solomon Islands (2.9%), Papua New Guinea (3.0%), Timor – Leste (3.0%), Vanuatu (3.1%), Kiribati (3.1%), Tonga (3.2%), Samoa (3.2%), Laos (3.2%), Nepal (3.2%), and Philippines (3.3%).

To raise mental health awareness, every year October 10 is observed as World Mental Health Day, whose goal is to spread awareness so that each individual can make a contribution to ensure that people living with mental illness can lead better lives with dignity.

The theme for World Mental Health Day 2021 is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’ that has been announced by the President of the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), Dr. Ingrid Daniels.

The aforementioned theme was chosen by a global vote because the world is increasingly polarised, with the very wealthy becoming wealthier, and the number of people living in poverty still far too high.

Last year highlighted inequalities due to race and ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, and the lack of respect for human rights in many nations, including for people living with mental health conditions, WFMH said.

Adding that such inequalities have an impact on the mental health of the public.

According to WFMH, this year’s theme will highlight that access to mental health services remains unequal, as the population between 75% to 95% with mental disorders in low-and middle-income nations, unable to have access to mental health services at all, and there, on the other hand, the access in high-income nations is not much better.

 WFMH further adds that lack of investment in mental health disproportionate to the overall health budget leads to the mental health treatment gap.


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