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Let's Talk about Depression, Says WHO on World Health Day 2017

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On April 7, 1948, the World Health Organisation (WHO) began its journey of caring about international public health.


Every year, on its foundation day, WHO celebrates World Health Day. On this occasion, WHO initiates a global conversation about some health related issue that has impacted a large population in recent times. It urges people to come forward and share their experiences, opinions, and beliefs about the issue.

Since public health has always been the prime focus of WHO, the topics they choose for global discussion have more often than not, had a significant impact on the world's population. Some of the previous year problems were ageing, vector-borne diseases, and high blood pressure. This year, WHO wants the world to talk about depression? 

Depression Is an Official Global Problem

The standard medical sources define depression as a mood disorder. They characterise it with a loss of interest and a feeling of sadness that refuses to go away.

Depression is an emotional condition that can impact the physical health of a person, alter the way they feel or act.

As per the WHO statistics, depression has attacked over 300 million people. In the ten years between 2005 and 2015, the number of individuals who got affected by depression has increased to over 18 percent. It has become a leading global cause of disability which is exceedingly borne by the low and middle-income nations.

Why Does WHO Choose to Talk about Depression?

The 2017 “Let’s Talk” initiative by WHO focusses on the causes, treatments, and risks of depression. It invites the global audience to participate in the conversation, hoping to draw a message across the board about how depression is neither a weakness nor a disability, rather a treatable ailment.

This illness stays so prevalent because a strong stigma surrounds mental illness. WHO stresses a need for better-informed individuals, which is why they have broached the subject of depression on an international platform.

Often, the lack of understanding causes sick people to attribute their symptoms to another condition or just wave them off. It could lead to a wrong diagnosis and could result in an aggravated form of depression. While the condition is entirely treatable with the help of medication and therapy, the patients often end up getting worse because of an initial ignorant attitude towards the situation.

WHO recommends participating in “Let’s Talk” to improve the scenario, inform people, generate awareness regarding the matter, and help clear off the shame and uncomfortableness around the disease.

The World Too, Needs to Take an Initiative

For every person who might suspect being under the effect of depression, WHO suggests increasing their connection with their trusted family and friends. Reaching out and asking for help needs to be made a more accessible option.

For others, WHO demands an improved level of perception. It coerces people into noticing the behavioural changes in others around them. Any indication, be a loss in efforts, interest, changing habits, alarming statements, if caught in time, can save someone from falling deeper into depression.

Communities need to understand the reality behind mental illnesses and improve their resources to help their members deal with the situation in a better manner. They need to assist their members through the treatment and advocate awareness to eliminate the social stigma attached to depression.

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