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Friday, July 29, 2011

WHO says Indians unhappiest

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
WHO says Indians unhappiest By ’20, Depression 2nd Major Disability Cause; Women Twice As Likely To Suffer From It

New Delhi: Indians are among the world's most depressed. According to a WorldHealth Organization-sponsored study, while around 9% of people in India had an extended period of depression in their lifetime, nearly 36% suffered from Major Depressive Episode (MDE).
MDE is characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy and poor concentration, besides feeling depressed. China had the lowest prevalence of MDE (12%). The average age of depression in India is 31.9 years compared to 18.8 years in China, and 22.7 years in the US.
The study, published in the BMC Medicine journal and based on interviews of over 89,000 people in 18 countries, says depression affects nearly 121 million people. It is the second leading contributor to shorter lifespan in the 15-44 age group.
The percentage of respondents who had lifetime MDE was higher in high-income (28.1%) than in low to middleincome (19.8%) countries. When it came to lifetime prevalence rates of depression, France (21%) and the US (19.2%) reported the highest rates of depression.
Women were twice as likely to suffer depression as men and the loss of a partner, whether from death, divorce or separation, was a main contributing factor, the study reveals. WHO ranks depression as the fourth top cause of disability worldwide and projects that by 2020, it will be the second leading cause.
Psychiatrist Dr Jitender Nagpal from VIMHANS said, "Depression can arise from day-to-day activities. MDE is much more serious. Planned suicide is highest among those suffering from MDE. Those suffering from MDE don't have the strength to conduct day-to-day chores and become dysfunctional. Increased stress, lonely lives and the falling apart of the social support systems like joint families is a major cause of growing depression among Indians." Major depression is a serious, recurrent disorder linked to diminished role in functioning and quality of life, medical morbidity and mortality.

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