Depression can have a profound impact on a person’s life, work, and relationships. But a new study shows the true toll of mental health conditions on a global scale.
“New research led by Alize Ferrari from the University of Queensland and the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research in Australia found that depression is the second leading cause of the global disability burden.
“Depression, defined as a persistent state of sadness or disinterest in things once found pleasurable, is one of the most common mental disorders.
“The World Health Organization states that approximately 350 million people worldwide have depression, or about four percent of the world’s population.
“While many people have chronic depression that ultimately leads to a disability, it’s common for it to become debilitating immediately. It’s not necessarily something that builds and becomes worse over time,” Dobrenski, who was not involved in the study, said. “Unfortunately, the system moves very slowly so it can take a long time for someone to become qualified [for mental health care], even though they are ‘eligible’ within days.” However, he added, some types of depression can fade away just as quickly, so it’s sometimes a disservice to designate someone as disabled so quickly. The new study, appearing in the journal PLOS Medicine, shows that rates of major depressive disorder (MDD) vary by country and region, but are highest in Central America and Central and Southeast Asia. Afghanistan, which has seen political turmoil and war since long before the U.S. occupation began 2001, leads the world in rates of depression, the researchers discovered. Japan, on the other hand, has the lowest rate of depression disability worldwide. To reach their conclusions, researchers scoured published studies on MDD, or clinical depression, and dysthymia, which is a milder form of depression. They assessed the diseases’ impact on the number of years people lived with disability, and substituted “reasonable estimates” for poorer countries on which few studies have been published. While the numbers showed that major depression ranked high among the causes of global disability in 2010, depression also contributes to deaths from other conditions, especially suicide and heart disease.”
More at: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/11/06/depression-second-leading-cause-disability-worldwide/