Every year on this date, World Mental Health Day is observed to raise public awareness about mental health issues. It promotes open discussion of mental disorders, and the ways of prevention, promotion and treatment. This year the theme for the day is “Depression: A Global Crisis”.
Depression is one of the most common forms of psychological problems suffered by people of all age groups around the world. Feelings of Hopelessness, Helplessness and Worthlessness are among the major symptoms of depression. In the extreme case, a person suffering from depression might choose to end the life by committing suicide. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the world. It is important to aware people that depression is a treatable condition if already occurred and if there is risk or vulnerability, then, there are various prevention measures one can take. People should be guided to see the psychologists/counselors for counselling which can be extremely helpful to pervent the grave consequences. The first and foremost intervention anyone of us can provide is listening to the person by heart. Let the person talk and share the problem. Friends and families can be the most valuable sources of support during such difficult times. It is natural for anybody in difficult circumstance to feel depressed. It is a normal reaction to abnormal situations in life.
In one of the conversations with a friend recently, he causally commented: “How can a person complain of depression when he is living in a country like Nepal?“ He thought it was not uncommon for citizens to be depressed when nothing (politically) seems to be going in a right direction in a country. He might sound logical but there are flaws in his logic if we think seriously. Depression is now a global problem, it is not just countries like Nepal where the incidence and prevalence rates of depression might be high. Even in the developed countries, depression is taking its toll on their citizens where social security is in place. The consequences of depression cannot be undermined as it affects the quality of life and productivity of the person, which eventually affects the whole nation and its development. Depression is not determined by how rich a person is or developed country one lives in. It is more about the way we think rather than how things are.
The resilience shown by Nepali people must be appreciated despite so many problems in the country. However, there is a need for government to take concrete steps to treat and prevent depression among the people. There is a need for National Mental Health Policy to deliver the mental health services nation wide. Psychologists and counsellors need to be called on board to integrate the psychological services in the health care system of the government.
Publication of World Federation for Mental Health: http://www.wfmh.org/2012DOCS/WMHDay%202012%20SMALL%20FILE%20FINAL.pdf
Collection of relevant articles on Depression: http://psychcentral.com/disorders/depression/
An article by Dr. Om Baniya on Depression http://psychology.com.np/?p=22
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