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Find a Cure, Not an Excuse!

All over the world, more than 300 million people are suffering from depression.

According to World Health Organization, depression is one of the leading cause of disability and more women are affected by it than men.

Also it is one of the leading cause why people commit suicide and end their lives.

In Pakistan, it is rapidly on the rise among teenagers and people, almost of every age.

But how do we, as a society, react to anyone suffering from depression or how we somehow became the reason of miserable conditions of patients by ignoring obvious signs of someone’s depressed phase at the earlier stages.

It is a serious concern not only for Pakistan but globally as well.

According to an Agha Khan University Study (2005-06), 34% of the population is suffering from mental disorders. 55% of this total population are women and 25% are men.

What do we need to know about depression?

Let’s have a look.

First of all, it should be understood that depression is a ‘disease’ and it can happen to anyone, it can be you or it could be me.

We don’t have power over it just like we don’t have any control over other diseases.

All we can do is try to stabilize someone before it is too late and understanding the symptoms.

We need to change our attitude and behaviour towards people suffering. We in Pakistan often say “Khush raha ker”, “Dua kia ker” and many other things to the person suffering but what we don’t know is that it does not work this way.

For sure, happiness and praying for better health is necessary but do we act in a same way suffering from other diseases as well?

Can we become happy by getting advice to become happy?  No! We don’t.

We should consult doctors and take appropriate medicines.

What factors can cause depression?

According to World Health Organization, One of the leading factor is family history of depression.

Other than that, having poor nutrition, using any sort of licit or illicit drugs, and continuous exposure to stress.

Other diseases like chronic physical illnesses, hypertension, diabetes, cancers, thyroid disorders and Parkinson disease can also lead towards depression.

What symptoms can you possibly see in a depressed person?

Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, loss of interest in daily activities, appetite or sudden loss of weight,  anger or irritability, loss of energy, self-loathing and reckless behaviour.

If you witness some of these symptoms in anyone you know, what should you do?

Don’t advise him to just stay happy please.

Help him consult a psychiatrist for a proper check-up and recovery.

Remember, there is no shame in consulting psychiatrist.

We people are too afraid to approach them for someone might call us “mad”.

But do we have enough number of psychiatrists? No!

In Pakistan, according to an estimate, there are only 750 psychiatrists, which means only 1 for 10,000 patients.

Misery doesn’t end here, for almost 4 million children suffering from mental disorder we have one psychiatrist in Pakistan.

Government must take action by both increasing the number of psychiatists and raising awareness about depression as a disease.

We Must Find a Cure, Not an Excuse!

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