By Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director WHO South-East Asia
Talking about depression can be challenging.
For those of us who have it, or think we might, broaching the subject can provoke a range of fears and apprehensions, including how it may change people’s perceptions of us, or even how we think about ourselves.
And for societies in which depression remains taboo, or is poorly understood, discussing it can mean examining deep and enduring social norms, be they related to masculinity or motherhood.
But depression is an issue that needs to be heard. It can affect each one of us, our colleagues or loved ones. It can colour relationships, working lives and social interactions. And it can impede our ability to live life to its fullest, whatever culture or community we belong to.
After all, an estimated 350 million people of all ages, in all countries, suffer the problem. Many do so silently.
To start the conversation, it’s worth noting what exactly depression is.
Depression is a common mental health issue involving persistent sadness or loss of interest or pleasure in activities normally enjoyed. It may express itself as disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, or feelings of tiredness and lethargy. Depression can also make itself known through agitation or physical restlessness, substance abuse, reduced concentration, and suicidal thoughts or acts.
Depression is a condition that deserves our respect. Depression is not a weakness.
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Source URL: Maldives Independent