World Health Day: Let’s talk about Depression:

Depression has been leading news headlines and social media conversations recently. Arjun Bhardwaj, a 24-year-old student, jumped from the 19th floor of Taj Land’s End, Mumbai. He was battling depression.

Yet depression has been widely misunderstood compared to all other mental health issues. This is despite the fact that it’s wide-spread amongst the population. It has affected as many as 3 crore lives, accordingly the World Health Organisation (WHO).

And it’s increasing too. There has been an 18% rise in the number of diagnoses since 2005. So, to raise awareness about the crippling disease, WHO, the specialised arm of the United Nations, decided to focus on depression as part of its annual ‘World Health Day’ celebration. Every year on the 7th of April, the WHO focuses on raising awareness about a disease and extend help to people suffering from the illness.

Depression – A serious mental illness:

WHO believes that depression is the leading cause of illnesses worldwide. It established links between depression and other non-communicable diseases. Depressed people are more prone to diseases such heart problems, diabetes, etc. Also, people with such diseases are more like to fall into depression.

It’s not just that. This severe mental illness can also lead to suicide. WHO reports state that there are around 8 lakh cases of suicides every year. In fact, suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers and young adults.

What triggers depression:

There are several factors that can take an individual closer to the black hole that is depression. Abuse can be one of the causes. Physical or emotional abuse often disrupt the mental balance, leading to mental abuse. They can leave a person peace-deprived. This can lead to depression.

Depression can also be attributed to the use of certain drugs. Serious medical issues too make a person more vulnerable to depression.

Family and friends can also play a significant role in this saddening illness. A death of a loved one can push a person towards this illness. Similarly, ill behaviour of a loved one can push a person towards depression too.

Doctors and scientists are also suggesting that depression could be a genetic disorder. It could run in the family.

Let’s talk:

The occurrence of depression is not instantaneous. It is an outcome of a series of emotions and feelings. The more a person suppresses such feelings, the bigger hole he or she may dig for themselves.

Communication is key to tackle depression. If you feel like you suffer from depression, then please do talk! Speak to friends, family, or maybe even colleagues. Alternatively, talk to your diary. Vent it out. Be vocal about your problems. This will discourage the piling on of emotions.

It is okay if you cannot share your problems with a friend or a family member. There are several out there waiting to help you. You can consult a physician. Several clinics and hospitals have a separate helpline number. Your aid is just a call away.

Art is also said to help those with mental illnesses. So you can resort to creative means like writing, painting, music therapies, etc to help yourself out.

A last word:

Depression does not just affect one individual. It has the potential to tear apart families and relationships. So if you see your loved one suffering, do reach out. Don’t shame people into snapping out of depression. It’s a serious illness that requires professional help.

Happy World Health Day!

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