Medical experts say depression to become largest global health crisis
Less than 25 percent of those with depression receive appropriate treatment.
According to a trusted source by the World Health Organization (WHO), 5 percent of individuals worldwide suffer from depression, and of them, less than 25 percent receive necessary treatment.
Experts believe that major depressive disorder (MDD) will be the leading illness worldwide by 2030.
A new study on depression has been released by the Lancet-World Psychiatric Association Commission. According to a reliable source, "not enough is done to avoid and alleviate the suffering and disadvantages linked with depression.”
Researchers examined 149 papers from 84 nations to conclude that depression is a global health epidemic that needs multifaceted remedies.
The commission's experts emphasized that in order to reduce depression rates, we need societal-wide initiatives that limit exposure to unpleasant events (such as neglect and trauma) beginning in infancy.
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Recommendations also include concentrating on risk factors such as domestic abuse, financial troubles, or the loss of a loved one, as well as lifestyle concerns such as smoking and alcohol usage.
Co-author of the aforementioned study, Dr. Lakshmi Vijayakumar, stated that “it is crucial that we put into practice evidence-based interventions that support parenting, reduce violence in the family, and bullying at school, as well [as] promoting mental health at work and addressing loneliness in older adults."
Authors said the system that classifies people in categories of having depression or not is too simplistic, elaborating that the condition is complex with different variations, symptoms, signs, and severities.
Commission Co-Chair Professor Vikram Patel from Harvard Medical School said “No two individuals share the exact life story and constitution, which ultimately leads to a unique experience of depression and different needs for help, support, and treatment."
According to Maria F. Espinola, PsyD, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, depression is unlike natural fluctuations in mood and is a serious disorder that interferes with daily functioning.
Espinola says symptoms include loss of interest in activities, irritability, difficulty sleeping, or sleeping too much, and suicidal thoughts.
Paul Poulakos, MD, a board-certified psychiatrist says the distinction in MDD is "significant impairment in one or more important areas of functioning."
“Depression has been associated with increased incidence of myocardial infarction (heart attacks) and exacerbation of cardiovascular disease,” he said. “Depression is associated with elevated risk of stroke and hypertension (high blood pressure) as well as a likelihood to attempt suicide.