World Health day 2017

Rebecca Toal's avatar

by Rebecca Toal

So here we are, another World Health Day has come around. Do you ever wonder what we remember or campaign for on World Health Day? I did… so I did a bit of internet research.

On the 7th of April each year, World Health Day marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Each year, a topic of global importance is chosen. For more information, take a look at their website.

This year, the topic is DEPRESSION.

It really is a global health problem of huge proportions, a serious mental health issue which still holds a lot of stigma.

Some people call it “The misunderstood epidemic”. It’s often a silent illness.

It’s blamed for many suicides, with suicide being amongst the leading causes of death around the world in some age categories.

The good news is depression can be prevented and treated.

There are many charities and resources available to offer help and support to those affected by this debilitating illness.

Unfortunately, sometimes these resources are hard to access, to those suffering from depression.

You may yourself suffer from depression, or have someone dear to you who does. I have someone very special to me who battles with it. Or maybe you don’t know much about it, at all.

I’ve found the following webpage very helpful with a definition, explanation, signs & symptoms and more all about depression.

Their definition of depression: ‘Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder.

It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working.

To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.’

A list of signs & symptoms to be aware of:

‘If you have been experiencing some of the following signs and symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression:

-Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
-Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
-Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
-Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
-Decreased energy or fatigue
-Moving or talking more slowly
-Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
-Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
-Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
-Appetite and/or weight changes
-Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
-Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment

Not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some people experience only a few symptoms while others may experience many.

Several persistent symptoms in addition to low mood are required for a diagnosis of major depression…’

I have much more to learn about depression, to be honest, my understanding it very limited.

But my hope for all of us is, that we will be much more aware that there are people suffering from this unseen illness, with great sensitivity.

Also I beg you to PLEASE SEEK OUT HELP and support if you think you may have depression, or if you have any thoughts of self-harm, worthlessness or suicide. 

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