Depression Rates Have Risen by 18%

March 15, 2018

According to concerning data from the World Health Organization (WHO), depression rates have risen by 18% all around the world. Of course, most of us feel sad now and then due to things like losing a loved one, breaking up with someone, or losing our jobs, but when the sadness becomes chronic and there’s nothing that can help, it could turn into depression.

Depression has increased dramatically in the last few decades. It affects women more than men, and has become a major public health problem. Around 350 million people in the world suffer from depression.

“Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.”

-Dodie Smith-

Despite the challenges it poses and the advancements in research about its consequences, there’s still a lot we don’t know about depression. In addition, many people who have depression refuse to accept it, making it much more difficult to manage.

The impact is so great that it’s considered the the second most debilitating illness in the world, leading those who suffer from it to stop working and lose precious skills. On top of all that, it’s the cause of 800,000 suicides every year.

Reasons for the rise in depression

People with depression often deny that they’re sick. The proper treatments exist, but most people who need them don’t get them. In addition, health professionals don’t always diagnose depression on time. Therefore, one reason for the increase in depression might be inefficiency in healthcare institutions.

woman with depression

Another possible factor is the uncertainty that has taken over modern society. Everything occurs at an overwhelming pace. Therefore, what was true yesterday might not be valid today. Such uncertainty makes us more insecure, leading us to neglect our medium and long-term plans and live in fear of  an unpredictable future.

At the same time, our ideals of success have become even more demanding. Before, it was enough to just be a good citizen who worked slowly towards your goals. Now, you have to fulfill thousands of requirements in order to achieve social success. At first glance, we appear to be freer and more autonomous nowadays, but in reality the expectations placed upon us have become much stricter.

How do you know if you suffer from depression?

Everybody experiences sadness, fear, and frustration. They’re necessary to grow, learn, and mature. The difficult experiences we face each day can make us stronger. However, if these moods become chronic, it might be a sign of depression.

man running through gray dust

People with depression may neglect to take care of their appearance, health, and relationships. Nothing seems to matter to them anymore, and they tend to isolate themselves from everyone, including family. They may also experience increased difficulty sleeping.

They feel negative emotions (i.e. loneliness, anxiety, fear, emptiness, hopelessness) more frequently and it’s almost impossible to make them go away. They stop doing activities they enjoy. Their existence becomes torture.

Thoughts of death are another symptom of depression. Suicidal ideation is common. They might begin to display self-destructive behaviors, such as drinking more alcohol, neglecting personal hygiene, and ditching their goals.

Loneliness makes depression worse

If you feel like this for any reason, seek help. Talking to someone you trust can be an incredible form of support. That way, you can release the anxiety that you carry within you. Remember that there are also professionals you can turn to. If you go to a psychologist or a psychiatrist, it doesn’t mean that you’re crazy. It just means they’ll help you find the reasons for your sadness and keep depression at bay.

woman catching moon in net

Above all, remember that loneliness makes depression worse. There will always be someone who is willing to help you understand what’s going on, to listen to you attentively, to care about you. You just have to open your heart and understand that it won’t help to be alone, no matter how much you think you want to be.

One of the best things you can do is get back into those activities you used to do. If you used to like taking walks, start doing that again. If you were passionate about playing football, reach out to the friends you used to play with. The most important thing is that you come out of your physical and emotional confinement. That way, difficult times won’t lead to depression. Instead, they’ll become a learning experience and help you grow.