Depression: Can it be Prevented?


Suparna Sengupta:

Depression is Common Mental Disorder Worldwide: Can it be Prevented?

Every year on March 8, the world celebrates International Women’s Day: a day that celebrates women and their achievements, and reiterates the call for gender equality. As we rightly focus on women’s social and political rights, we often forget to take stock of our right to health. Women are known for putting others first. But when it comes to our health it is important to prioritize our own needs and speak up when we need support. When we talk about health, we mainly refer to physical health. It is important to mention here that mental health plays a major role in one’s ability to maintain good physical health.

Today, for International Women’s Day, at Bio-Services, we’re speaking up for women and girls mental health. Studies suggest that women are more prone than men to experience anxiety, depression, and somatic complaints – physical symptoms that cannot be explained medically. According to World Health Organization (WHO) “mental disorders comprise a broad range of problems, with different symptoms. However, they are generally characterized by some combination of abnormal thoughts, emotions, behavior and relationships with others. Examples are schizophrenia, depression, intellectual disabilities and disorders due to drug abuse”.

Depression is the most common mental health problem for women, and suicide a leading cause of death for women under 60. As per WHO “depression is a common mental disorder, characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks. In addition, people with depression normally have several of the following: a loss of energy; a change in appetite; sleeping more or less; anxiety; reduced concentration; indecisiveness; restlessness; feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide”.

But the vital thing to remember is that there are ranges of ways in which we can care for our health.  Effective treatments are available and, with the right care at the right time, antidepressant medication and with talking therapies most people recover.

So let’s not shy away from seeking help to help improve the quality of life for us and the people we love! Let’s Talk about it. Happy Women’s Day.

Suparna Sengupta, M.A in English Literature, University of Calcutta, West Bengal, India.

March 8, 2019.