On April 7, the World Health Organization puts depression on the spotlight in order to reduce the stigma related to it and to motivate those who suffer from it to seek out help.
According to WHO, the feelings of despair and sadness that are characteristic of this mental illness affect more than 300 million people throughout the world, which is why this international healthcare organization choose this condition as the central focus of their actions in celebration of World Health Day.
The intention of this day is to foster open discussion on this condition so that people who suffer from depressive episodes can ask for and receive the help they need to control the illness and prevent it from turning into something more serious.
What to do if you think you or someone you know is depressed
It is important to identify the symptoms associated with this illness. According to the Clinical Practice Guide from the Colombian Ministry of Health, this condition includes a variety of prolonged feelings of sadness, low energy, irritability, despair, discomfort and difficulties dealing with daily responsibilities, in addition to a lack of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable. Occasionally, physical pain can also be a symptom.
If you or someone you know have symptoms that fit this description, WHO recommends talking with someone trustworthy about your feelings; knowing that someone is worried about you can make you feel better. It is also recommended to seek help from a healthcare professional, including a primary care physician, who can orient you towards a treatment that is most suitable for your condition.
It is important to understand the depression is a normal illness that can affect anybody, regardless of their age or condition. Preventing and treating it is possible if it is done on time, which is why talking about it is so important.