Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 24th 2015 Contents Yet, 60--80 per cent of all depres-
sion can be treated either by psy-
chotherapy and, or medication.
In most cultures where people
do not receive effective care, bar-
riers include a lack of resources,
lack of trained health care
providers, and social stigma asso-
ciated with mental disorders.
Another barrier to effective care
is inaccurate assessment (WHO).
A US study also finds that states
with higher rates of depression
also show high rates of other neg-
ative health outcomes, such as
obesity, heart disease, and stroke.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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One of the most common requests
from people who reach out to me
through email or through messaging
at the Facebook page Mental Health
Matters, T&T, is for direction to men-
tal health services in T&T. Next in fre-
quency is to point them to some
resource that would help them under-
stand if they are clinically depressed,
and third, to recommend a doctor.
I m unaware of how well the mental
health "system" works here. What I
know though is that I wished there was
sufficient visibility, at least of the serv-
ices that can be accessed for those who
wish to do so.
Globally, research shows that among
the quarter of the world s population
who are deemed to be living with men-
tal health issues, depression stands out
as the most common mental disor-
der---an estimated one in ten---and sta-
tistics show diagnoses to be growing
at "an alarming rate."
Globally, more than 350 million peo-
ple of all ages suffer from depression,
says the World Health Organisation
(WHO). According to www.who.int,
"depression is the leading cause of dis-
ability worldwide, and is a major con-
tributor to the global burden of disease;
more women are affected by depression
than men; at its worst, depression can
lead to suicide, and there are effective
treatments for depression."
What is daunting is that from among
that population research says that 80
per cent of the people who exhibit
symptoms of clinical depression are
not receiving treatment for depression.
Depending on the number and severity of symptoms, a depressive
episode can be categorised as mild, moderate, or severe.
Both types of depression--unipolar avd bipolar--can be chronic (existing
over an extended period of time) with relapses, especially if they go
Unipolar depression: in its typical depressive episodes, the person
experiences depressed mood, loss of interest and enjoyment, and reduced
energy leading to diminished activity for at least two weeks. Many people
with depression also suffer from anxiety symptoms, disturbed sleep and
appetite and may have feelings of guilt or low self-worth, poor concentration
and even medically unexplained symptoms.
An individual with a mild depressive episode will have some difficulty in
continuing with ordinary work and social activities, but will probably not
cease to function completely. During a severe depressive episode, it is very
unlikely that the individual will be able to continue with social, work, or
domestic activities, except to a very limited extent.
Bipolar mood disorder: this type of depression typically consists of both
manic and depressive episodes separated by periods of normal mood. Manic
episodes involve elevated or irritable mood, over-activity, pressure of speech,
inflated self-esteem, and a decreased need for sleep. (WHO)
WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
CAROLINE C RAVELLO
Looking toward improved mental health care in T&T
MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS
CONTINUES ON PAGE B34
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