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Depression a major health illness now

Arvinder Kaur in New Delhi | October 07, 2004 10:54 IST

Are you depressed? There is every reason to be.

According to the latest research, depression will be the second most common health problem in the world by the year 2010.

One in every five women and one in ten men will be suffering from acute depression by the end of the decade, according to the World Health Organisation.

Children and adolescents will be no exception with two and five per cent respectively suffering from depression by 2010, says Dr Samir Parekh, a well-known psychiatrist.

It's clear now that depression is more than just bad mood and has been termed by WHO as one of the most common health problems.

If it is a normal reaction to a particular situation, like death in the family, it's called transitory. But when it starts affecting sleep, appetite and efficiency, it is called clinical depression and needs to be treated,  says Dr J M Wadhawan, head, Department of Psychiatry, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

The causes of depression could be biological, which include the low level of neurotransmitters, or psychological and social, like stress.

"Depression is like any other medical illness and needs specialised treatment, but in our country people still think that it can be cured on its own," says Dr Parekh.

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