Search Blog Content

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Why Everyone Should Care about Depression

Often, we think of medical issues as being "the other guy's concern." Why, for instance, would we bother spending our time thinking about arthritis if we feel comfortable and limber? Why would we stew over tuberculosis when we are able to breathe freely and clearly?

The logic behind this line of thinking is understandable. If it doesn't affect us, there doesn't seem to be a compelling reason to care a great deal about the problem. Sure, we want to have some knowledge about preventing the onset of some diseases and disorders, but we are not apt to spend a great deal of time considering or researching maladies for which we lack a diagnosis.

There are exceptions to this rule, however, and one of the most notable is the matter of depression. Depression is an illness about which we all should care and to which we should all pay close attention.

What makes depression unique among all of the other illnesses and diseases? There are at least three very good reasons for even the most mentally healthy among us to keep up to date about depression.

The significance of the three reasons outlined in this article is amplified by one fact: there is a depression epidemic underway. The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) has projected that by the year 2020, depression will be the world's second most dangerous and devastating disease, second only to heart disease.

The rate of increase in depression diagnoses among children is increasing at a frightening clip-every year sees at least an additional twenty percent increase in the incidence of depression among young people.

Some estimates assert that nearly a quarter of all people will some day suffer from depression. To make matters even worse, none of these trends are abating. Depression continues to grow at an alarming rate with no end in sight to the problem.

The sheer magnitude of the depression problem may be impressive in and of itself, but it also amplifies the need for all of us to track and understand the disease. This is true for three primary reasons.

The first justification for concern is the near certainty that depression will touch each of our lives in a very direct way. The statistics recounted above make it almost impossible to avoid having a loved one, friend or close associate who suffers from depression. Depression is an illness that will enter all of our lives indirectly, at the very least. Whether it is a spouse, parent or best friend, you will someday encounter the devastating impact of depression upon someone you know well.

Secondly, the increasing prevalence of depression increases the likelihood that you may eventually experience the problem. Although depression is more likely among those with a family history of the problem, it does strike others unexpectedly, too. And, contrary to widely held beliefs, it does not require a certain trigger or dramatic event to develop.

Depression is unbiased and indiscriminate. It impacts people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, races and gender. Working with the assumption that depression does impact twenty-five percent of the population, ask yourself a simple question: "Is there any other disease you would ignore if you knew you had a one in four chance of contracting it?" The answer is obvious. We even make sure to immunize ourselves against far less likely maladies.

Finally, even if one was somehow able to escape dealing with a depressed acquaintance and was able to avoid contracting the disorder themselves, they are still sure to feel its impact. Depression is a huge drain on the economy, costing literally tens of billions of dollars annually due to medical treatment costs, work absenteeism and an overall drop in productivity. From the viewpoint of civics alone, one should have an interest in the disease and its treatment.

It's easy to ignore many medical conditions-especially if one is healthy. Depression, however, should never be ignored. This growing epidemic affects all of us and warrants a high level of attention.
Source: Free Articles
About the Author:
john savage is a former health education officer and has made a careful study of depression, stress & anxiety. To read how you can conquer depression, stress and anxiety go to my blog -

No comments:

Post a Comment