Global depression crisis ignored: More than half of people with depression go undiagnosed

2022-05-14 0 By

The Lancet published the Lancet – World Psychiatric Association Major Report on Depression on 16 February.The report believes that the ongoing and growing global depression crisis has not been resolved, and calls on the whole society to jointly take measures to ease the global burden of depression.It is estimated that 5% of adults worldwide suffer from depression each year.In high-income countries, about half of people with depression go undiagnosed or untreated, compared with 80-90% in low – and middle-income countries.COVID-19 has brought additional challenges, such as social isolation, bereavement, uncertainty, hardship and limited access to healthcare, that are severely impacting the mental health of millions of people.Lancet – World Psychiatric Association Major Report on Depression:The time has come for joint action against depression, according to the report, calling for the government, health care providers, researchers, depressed patients and their families to make concerted efforts to improve the treatment and prevention, fill the blank of the knowledge and awareness, in order to jointly cope with depression – it is avoidable pain caused worldwide and one of the leading causes of premature death.”Depression is a global health crisis that needs to be addressed on multiple levels.The report calls for concerted action to improve mental health services and prevention approaches globally.Reducing the burden of depression through increased investment will give millions of people the opportunity to become healthier, happier and more active members of society, helping to boost national economies and contribute to achieving the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.”Report chair Professor Helen Herrman, from Australia’s National Centre of Excellence for Youth Mental Health and the University of Melbourne.An under-recognized and under-understood illness report highlights that depression is a specific health problem that can affect anyone, and that the types and prevalence of symptoms and manifestations of depression vary across cultures and populations.The risk of depression is higher in disadvantaged environments, including poverty, violence, displacement, and gender, race, and other forms of discrimination.Depression is associated with a variety of chronic physical illnesses, and a person’s physical health can affect their mental health and vice versa.At its worst, depression can lead to suicide.Depression also takes a huge and underappreciated social and economic toll on individuals, families, communities and nations.”Arguably, there is no physical illness that is as common, as responsible for the burden of disease, as common, yet completely treatable, yet receives little policy attention and social resources,” said Associate Professor Christian Kieling, co-chair of the report from the Federal University of Rio Grande Do Sul in Brazil.”It is difficult for people with depression to access effective psychosocial and appropriate medical treatment, and the high stigma of depression still prevents many people from seeking the help they need to lead healthy and active lives.Many of them are teenagers and young adults who are at risk or suffering from depression.Reducing the disease burden of depression, Prevention is Critical The report highlights the need for community-wide strategies to reduce adverse experiences, including neglect and trauma, in childhood and throughout life to reduce the incidence of depression.Interventions are also needed at the individual level, focusing on lifestyle factors (such as smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity) and other risk factors such as intimate partner violence, stressful life events (such as bereavement or financial crisis).”Prevention is the most neglected aspect of depression.This is partly because most interventions are done outside the health sector, “said co-author Dr. Lakshmi Vijayakumar from SNEHA, Chennai, India, suicide Prevention Centre and Voluntary health Service:”We should put evidence-based interventions into practice to support parenting, reduce domestic violence and school bullying, promote mental health at work and tackle loneliness in older people.Common risk factors and higher prevalence of depression among people with chronic health problems support common prevention measures.”Personalized, report supports the adoption of personalized care method by stages and phases of depression care method, clear and intensity of the symptoms of time sequence, according to the specific needs of the individual and the severity of the illness recommended interventions, from self-help and lifestyle changes to psychotherapy and antidepressant drugs, to more intensive and professional treatment,Such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for severe and refractory depression.”No two people have exactly the same life story and circumstances, which ultimately leads to different people’s unique experiences of depression and different needs for help, support and treatment,” explains Co-chair Professor Vikram Patel of Harvard Medical School in the US.”The phased approach looks at depression on a continuum — from health to temporary distress to real depression — and provides a framework to recommend appropriate interventions from the earliest point of illness.”[2] At the same time, the report recommends that collaborative care strategies, such as community health workers and lay counsellors, not only address critical shortages of skilled service providers and reduce financial barriers, but also help to reduce stigma and cultural barriers, while providing holistic care for patients and their families.(Shi Mengzhu) (Operation: Liu Yuxin)