This year, the theme of WHO’S 2017 World Health Day campaign is…
Depression can be defined “as an illness characterised 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.
It is not merely feeling sad or unhappy for a few days. People with depression, normally have several of the following symptoms that affect their everyday lives:
- An increase or decrease in appetite; weight gain or weight loss
- A loss of energy
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Reduced Concentration
- Anxiety and Restlessness
- Feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness
- Feelings of extreme anger
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 350 million people globally suffer from depression and it is a leading cause of disability. One of the most challenging aspects for people living with depression, is the stigma associated with being depressed. Stigma causes feelings of shame, for an illness that is out of one’s control, and prevents individuals from seeking help.
Raising awareness and increasing others understanding of what depression is, and how it can be prevented and treated is a key step in treating depression: if we reduce the stigma associated with depression, we reduce the barriers to seeking help. If a few of us begin a conversation, then many more may join – if we do this enough, then we advocate for change. So this year, think about the conversations you’re having and to those that are being had around you and consider the small changes in these conversations that could go towards reducing the associated stigma’s of depression.
It’s time to talk about depression – if you would like to learn more about campaigning for depression and how you can help, visit: http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2017/campaign-essentials/en/.
Together, we can be the change.
Remember, depression can be treated. If you think you have depression – seek help.