Health experts show concern on increasing depression rate in Pakistan

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Health experts show concern on increasing depression rate in Pakistan

KARACHI: Depression accounts for six percent cases of mental illness in Pakistan and increasing depression rate has created many issues, including economic insecurity, unemployment, stressful working conditions, gender discrimination, political uncertainty and disruption of the social settings, said health experts in a press briefing in Karachi Press Club to mark the World Mental Health Day on Thursday.

Dr. Iqbal Afradi, president elect Pakistan psychiatry society and head of psychiatry department at JPMC, said depression is becoming a common global issue, especially in developing countries. “Depression is a main contributor to the global burden of diseases and it affects people in all communities across the world. Today depression is estimated to affect 350 million people, globally,” he added.

Moreover, almost one million lives are lost yearly due to suicides, which translate to 3000 suicide deaths every day.

Dr. Raza Ur Rehman of Psychiatry Department, Dow University of Health Sciences said a depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body and affects the person’s life. However, proper treatment can help most people who suffer from depression. Depressive disorders start at a young age; they reduce people’s functioning and often are recurring; for the reason depression is the leading cause of disability in terms of total years lost due to disability, he added.

Dr. Naeem Siddiqui, Consultant Psychiatrist at AKUH and SUIT said that depression is a communal mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest, decreased energy, disturbed sleep and poor concentration. He said managing depression is a very scientific part of patient’s life that transfers the whole society in peaceful environment.

Depression is a disorder that can be reliably diagnosed and treated in primary care. Preferable treatment options consist of basic psychosocial support combined with antidepressant medication and cognitive behavior therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy or problems solving treatment.

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