Let’s talk: Depression

Kiran Fatima

Depression is an illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that one normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks. Depression is affecting over 350 million people worldwide. In addition, people with depression face a loss of energy, a change in appetite, anxiety, lack of concentration, indecisiveness, restlessness, feelings of worthlessness, guilt or hopelessness and thoughts of self-harm, or suicide. Depression is something that can happen to anybody at any phase of life. This is most neglected health field in Pakistan. According to President of Pakistan Association for Mental Health, Prof. S Haroon Ahmed, the prevalence of depressive disorder in Pakistan is about 44% (25% in males and 57.5% in females). Mostly depression occurs due to several financial and housing difficulties. In Pakistan, there are merely 750-trained psychiatrists, which is very low. Depression is not a sign of weakness that is why there should be no shame of seeking help or sharing thoughts with others. Depression is treatable with the help of talking therapies, anti-depressant medications or combination of these. If someone is going through depression, it is necessary to talk about it with someone trustworthy. Most people feel better after talking to someone who care about them. Professional help is also necessary to bring patients from dark to light.

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