Depression is an illness that can happen to anybody. It causes mental anguish and affects people’s ability to carry out everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends.
At worst, depression can lead to suicide. Fortunately, depression can be prevented and treated. The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a one-year campaign: Depression: let’s talk.
Depression is characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks.
In addition, people with depression normally have several of the following symptoms:
- a loss of energy;
- a change in appetite;
- sleeping more or less;
- reduced concentration;
- feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness;
- and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
World Health Day, celebrated on 7 April every year to mark the anniversary of the founding of the WHO, provides an opportunity to mobilize action around a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world. The theme of our 2017 World Health Day campaign is depression.
According to WHO, depression can be prevented and treated. A better understanding of what depression is, and how it can be prevented and treated, will help reduce the stigma associated with the condition, and lead to more people seeking help.
Photo courtesy: WHO
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