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Invisible Killer: living with depression in a modern world

Living with depression. Photo Credit: Mariella Buccinnà.

Living with depression. Photo Credit: Mariella Buccinnà.
Living with depression. Photo Credit: Mariella Buccinnà.

According to the last Mental Health Diseases report, launched by World Health Organisation (WHO) in February 2017, globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression. Women are the major affected by the illness, the WHO believes it happens because society establishments, men usually experience more pressure from society to hide the symptoms, as a consequence, most of them don`t seek professional help, but recent researchers showed the number of men diagnosticated has increased in the past years, probably as a result of awareness campaigns.

The disease results from a complex interaction of social, psychological and biological factors. People who have gone through adverse life events, such as unemployment, deprivation and mental trauma are more likely to develop it.

Depression has no cure according to WHO, despite there are effective treatments for moderate and severe cases such as psychological therapies and interpersonal psychotherapy or antidepressant medication, which the most famous are serotonin inhibitors. Different psychological treatment formats for consideration include individual or group face-to-face psychological treatments delivered by professionals and supervised lay therapists. The common sense about mental health diseases and the lack of knowledge about depression in society contribute to a late diagnosis.

Modern facilities, such as internet and social media, might also increase the problem. Many types of research confirm the link the number of depressed people in the world with a modern – industrialised era. Two recent surveys coordinated by `Monitoring the Future`, and the `Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System`, organisations which work with young people in The United States of America, presented alarming data. Among those who used electronic devices five or more hours a day, 48 percent had at least one suicide-related outcome. Thus, adolescents using devices five or more hours a day (vs 1 hour) were 66 percent more likely to have at least one suicide-related issue.

Despite the numbers, the WHO considers the effective way to suppress the depression in the world is countries increase services for people with mental, neurological and substance use disorders, through care provided by health workers. Awareness campaigns are also necessary to demystify the depression to the general public.

Depression in Ireland

According to the Aware organisation, more than 450,000 are living with depression in Ireland. Only in the last year, the Irish hospitals received 17, 290 mental health diseases admissions, 27 percent of them were diagnosticated as a depressed.

Organisations such as Aware and Mental Health Ireland offers services to support patients who are living with mental diseases. To access this kind of services, call or register on the website of this institutions.

phone: 1800 80 48 48 – Available Monday to Sunday from 10am to 10pm.

Mental Health Ireland
phone: (01) 284 1166

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