Depression awareness week is a seven day "promotion" run by the Depression Alliance designed to increase awareness of a condition which is very rarely spoken about. There are many different emotions connected with depression, and indeed an array of other medical/mental health conditions, which often stop people from openly discussing their issues for fear of seeming weak or embarrassment. However, depression awareness week will hopefully help to lift this stigma which is perhaps the one major barrier to tackling the problem.
Simple facts about depression
We all hear about depression, it is becoming more commonplace but are you aware of the basic facts and figures surrounding this potentially debilitating condition?
Number of depression sufferers
There are a number of facts and figures which perfectly illustrate how common depression is despite the fact that many people are afraid to talk about it. Reliable research estimates that at any one time 350 million people around the world will be suffering from depression. This is a condition which has no appreciation of social standing, wealth or fame although perhaps the more wealthy and famous are even more concerned about people "knowing".
It is estimated that around 20 million people a year suffer from depression in the US alone which to put this in layman's terms is twice the population of New York City. So, if you suffer from depression perhaps it will help your recovery to know that you are not alone?
Chances of suffering from depression
Research suggests that by the age of 24 around 25% of adults across the globe will have experienced some form of depression. This could be connected to an array of factors in their everyday life which may culminate in a bout of depression of varying lengths. Perhaps a more controversial suggestion is that women are twice as likely to suffer from depression as men. However, some experts believe that the stereotypical male is even more reluctant to ask for help for depression therefore the numbers could be skewed towards women.
As we touched on above, depression is no respecter of social standing, wealth or fame.
Depression awareness week will be seen by many as another well-meaning event which will result in short-term exposure but no increase in long-term coverage. The reality is that any exposure for depression will encourage individual sufferers to come forward and hopefully this movement can gather momentum for the future. Those who have suffered from depression at any point in the life will know it can be a very lonely place even for those with loved ones, friends and family close by. Can you imagine the despair and loneliness felt by those who have no one to turn to?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) believes that within 15 years depression will be the second greatest cause of medical disability second only to HIV/AIDS. This is how serious the impact of depression can be on an individual's mental and physical well-being. While there are many helpful resources out there for those suffering from depression, first of all people need to feel comfortable stepping forward and admitting they have a problem. Only then can they move on to the recovery stage and take back control of their life. This in itself can literally be life changing…….