Depression: a major global concern?
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Depression is termed a serious medical illness which is now becoming one of the leading causes of disability. Psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, panic disorder, schizophrenia, insomnia, eating disorder, obesity etc. account for 13% of the burden of the disease and have become a major concern of human health. About 80% of people living in low and middle-income countries are found to have mental disorders. According to a WHO report depression is more prevalent than violence, heart disease, accidents and strokes. In the present study, approximately84% of 400 respondent were found to be anxious of some level. These percentages are quite alarming in themselves, as these could hint at mild to severe anxiety. 31% were also found to have said depression did not “at all” make functioning difficult whereas 32% said it mildly did and the rest said “moderate” to “severe”. The 14.8% of people answering “severe” are people who need to be treated immediately as they felt depression made it difficult for them to function in their personal, social, or work life. 62.3% of people said they have trouble in focusing, concentrating or remembering things. Most importantly, 45%, the majority, said “not at all” on the question of committing suicide. Rest of the people said “only slight” or “partly”. A few people, worryingly enough, said they wondered about committing suicide “to a great extent”. The 15-17% who gave strong responses on committing suicide, are definitely under mild to severe depression, whether temporary or a long-term one. It is predicted that by 2020 depressive disorder will be the most important cause of disease burden in the entire world. Every human being suffers from feeling depressed at some point or other, but only about one fifth of the population actually experience an episode of depressive disorder over the course of their lives. It is thus imperative that a public health approach to disease and the particular complexities of applying this approach to mental disorders, using depression as the exemplar must be taken immediately to avoid or minimize this.