It’s World Health Day on April 7, and this year’s theme is “Depression: Let’s talk”. The day marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organisation, and every year the focus is on a specific health issue that concerns people across the world. Mental health is integral to our well-being, and the growing incidence of mental health issues is a reflection of the reality that confronts us today, the WHO said.
Depression is a common mental disorder: globally more than 300 million people suffer from it. More women are affected by depression than men. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. It is characterised by persistent sadness, a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, and an an inability to carry out daily activities.
Depression affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries, and is the largest single contributor to global disability.
About 322 million people around the world live with depression.
Nearly half of them live in South-East Asia and the Western Pacific, reflecting the relatively larger populations of those two regions, including India and China.
Depression can lead to suicide. Nearly 800,000 people commit suicide every year.