Strong social support can help ease effects of depression

Posted April 09, 2017

The WHO has launched a year-long campaign called, "Depression: let's talk" in an attempt to break stigmas associated with mental health issues and encourage people who need help to seek it. The World Health Day is celebrated every year on April 7 by the World Health Organisation. "The continuing stigma associated with mental illness was the reason why we made a decision to name our campaign Depression: let's talk", said Dr Shekhar Saxena, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO.

Depression is a mental disorder that commonly occurs in people with stress, those that have experienced psychological trauma in daily life with family members or social connections or after they have suffered from other illnesses, affecting their physical health and ability to study and work, according to WHO.

Though depression is the leading cause of suicide, which is, in turn, the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year olds, specialists argue that not all symptoms of depression can be diagnosed as depressive disorders.

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According to health experts, antidepressant medication, talk therapies or a combination of both are effective treatments for moderate to severe depression.

"Integrating religion yoga exercise and psychologist treatment is a holistic approach to treat depression", Borker said.

He estimated 400,000 Cambodian adults have depression, in line with the global figure of 300 million people, or about four percent of the world's population.

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In his address, Dr Rathan U Kelkar, Mission Director, National Health Mission, Karnataka, spoke about the integration of the mental health programme with primary health care in the state. "On average, just 3% of government health budgets is invested in mental health, varying from less than 1% in low-income countries to 5% in high-income countries", says WHO. "It is mostly found in youngster who requires immediate attention and counselling". It said suicide accounted for close to 1.5 per cent of all deaths worldwide, bringing it into the top 20 leading causes of death in 2015. "We should strive for early recognition of depression, provide treatment and help in preventing suicides", Dr Kelkar urged.

I am heartened that there are employers willing to help individuals who are coping with mental illnesses ("More firms hiring those with mental health issues", March 27), and the Mindset Learning Hub offers training for such individuals in the cleaning, and food and beverage sectors.

"Some medical conditions like thyroid problems, brain tumour or vitamins deficiency can present symptoms of depression so it is important to rule out general medical causes before the diagnosis".

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