World Health Day this year on 7 April aims to make people more aware of depression and the fact that it can be prevented and treated, to have people with depression seek help; and family, friends and colleagues of people living with depression able to provide support.
Depression is an illness characterized 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 can happen to anybody. It causes mental anguish and impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends and the ability to earn a living. At worst, it can lead to suicide, now the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year olds.
A better understanding of what depression is, and how it can be prevented and treated, will help reduce the stigma associated with the condition, and lead to more people seeking help.