7 April commemorates World Health Day and the theme this year is ‘Let’s talk about Depression’.
World Health Day was established by the World Health Organization (WHO) on April 7, 1948. It is a specialized agency which is part of the United Nations that focuses on international public health.
This year, the organization has identified depression as a significant cause of ill health in the world today. The goal is to make the general public more aware of depression, its causes and that it can be treated.
According to the latest estimates from WHO, more than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18 percent between 2005 and 2015. Lack of support for people with mental disorders, coupled with a fear of stigma, prevent many from accessing the treatment they need to live healthy, productive lives.
To join in the discussion let’s talk about depression, the causes, symptoms and treatment.
What is depression?
Depression also known as clinical depression or depressive disorder is a mood disorder that is characterized by prolonged sadness.
It affects how a person feels, thinks and their daily activities such as work, sleep and eating.
There are several causes of depression that include:
- Life experiences
- Non psychriatic diseases
- Medical treatments
- Substance abuse
- Psychiatric conditions
Signs and symptoms
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities, mood swings, or sadness
- Sleep disorders
- Diet changes either loss of appetite or overeating
- Behavioural changes such as extreme agitation, excessive crying, irritability, or social isolation
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Being absent minded, obsessive behaviour or suicidal thoughts
2. Medication such as antidepressants