World Health Day in an international health awareness day celebrated yearly on April 7th, sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO chooses a health subject of major importance in order to raise social consciousness, globally. This year, the campaign, “Depression: let’s talk” will focus on mental health and depression- a common and serious health issue, which carries a lot of stigma in many societies. The goal is to let people know that it’s okay to open up about how they are feeling and that seeking help is nothing to be ashamed of.
According to new estimates of depression released by the WHO earlier this year, the number of people living with depression increased by over 18% between 2005 and 2015. Depression is also the largest cause of disability worldwide. More than 80% of this disease burden is among people living in low and middle income countries. Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
The good news is, there are treatments available to help manage or even cure depression.
In the case of severe depression, Health-care providers may offer psychological treatments such as:
- Behavioral activation, cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT]
- Interpersonal psychotherapy [IPT]
- Antidepressant medication (such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs] and tricyclic antidepressants [TCAs]
For mild depression, psychosocial treatment is usually sought first before determining is medication is needed.
What you can do if you think you are depressed:
- Talk to someone you trust about your feelings. Most people feel better after talking to someone who cares about them.
- Seek professional help. Your local health-care worker or doctor is a good place to start.
- Remember that with the right help, you can get better.
- Keep up with activities that you used to enjoy when you were well.
- Stay connected. Keep in contact with family and friends.
- Exercise regularly, even if it’s just a short walk.
- Stick to regular eating and sleeping habits.
- Accept that you might have depression and adjust your expectations. You may not be able to accomplish as much as you do usually.
- Avoid or restrict alcohol intake and refrain from using illicit drugs; they can worsen depression.
- If you feel suicidal, contact someone for help immediately.
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