Depression is one serious problem that our world is facing today.
Depression, as defined by the World Health Organization as the persistent sadness and loss of interest in activities that a person enjoys typically. It also affects his ability to do activities of daily living for two weeks or more.
Look Around You
Are you aware that one in four people suffers from depression? Yes, it could be someone you know – a family, a friend, a neighbor, or even you, yourself – that could be suffering from this form of mental illness.
“Depression is more than an emotion or a state of mind, it is really a process. It is a combination of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.” –Robert Allison, MA, LPC
Due to this rapidly increasing rate, depression is now considered one of the primary causes of disability and ill health in the world.
Depression Knows No Boundaries
“Depression is an incredibly complex disease caused by a combination of biological, psychological and sociological factors.” Charmaine J. Simmons, LPC said. Depression does not discriminate anyone one; whether you are black or white, whether you live in a high income or low-income country, a cold or hot country, there’s a chance that you will experience depression in your lifetime.
In 2014, WHO reported the U.S. as one of the most depressed countries in the world along with India and China.
As of 2017, India is still on the list. According to WHO, over 50 million of its population suffers from depression. Poverty is said to be the chief reason as a significant number of people are living well below the poverty line.
Other countries on the list include
- Bangladesh where more than 6 million people are suffering from some form of depression, and if 1% of this number commit suicide due to depression, it means 60,000 people take their lives because of this illness.
- Tanzania, one of the world poorest countries, reported depression reckoned 7.5% of all reported patients with mental disorders.
- Ethiopia. Approximately 10% of the Ethiopian population is affected by depression according to the Ministry of Health.
- Iran, a country that decided to develop a nuclear weapon, leaving its people deprived of many essential amenities, including access to mental health care. Majority of the numbers suffering from depression are among the youth. That is one of the reasons why the government should recognize this problem and help those suffering from the illness early on before the number of people affected explodes significantly.
- Ukraine, affected by the European financial crisis, experienced a rise in the unemployment curve which is the primary reason behind the cases of depression in the country.
- DR Congo. Besides the fact that most of its population are living below poverty line, making it the dominant reason behind depression epidemic, a survey showed that sexual abuse and violence is prevalent in the Congolese society, and 40.5% of the study group met the criteria for major depressive disorder after a year of the recall period.
- Nigeria faces the threat of becoming one of the most suicide-prone countries worldwide because of the severity of the depression problem the country is experiencing with an alarming 7 million Nigerians living with depression.
- Uganda, with its limited health care facilities available to them, explains the reason why they are considered one of the most depressed countries worldwide.
- China is deemed to be the largest population said to be suffering from depression with more than 100 million of its people affected by this mental illness. The reason behind this large number could be the extreme degree of competition in the country that the people become overworked, being unable to manage work-life balance.
These are just 10 of countries severely suffering from depression as reported by WHO, but despite the facts provided, still, the majority of those suffering from depression have not received treatment, and worse, some countries don’t even have access to adequate mental health care.
These statistics are a call-out, not only to leaders of those countries mentioned but to the whole world and all the organizations concerned to work hand in hand and re-think how they can address depression which is a serious problem affecting many people around the world. They should start treating this issue with urgency.
“Depression is exhausting to the person suffering from it. Just accomplishing the bare minimum can seem like too much work.” says Kurt Smith, Psy.D., LMFT, LPCC, AFC. If the government could allow a budget of a billion dollars for its weapons and army, maybe it would not be too much to spare some money for the welfare of its citizens.