News headlines, government reports and health experts are claiming that “depression is on the rise” and we are in the midst of a “depression epidemic”. Are we really? Is society just not coping with modern stresses? Are we not learning the basic life skills that our fore fathers learnt growing up in the post war and depression eras? Are doctors just labelling for a quick solution and handing out medication as it is anticipated in modern times? The Australian and the World Health Organisation’s mental health and depression statistics show a dramatic increase in the diagnosis of depression over the last 10 years, however education and awareness has also increased at a rapid rate. So are we really in the midst of a “depression epidemic’ or are our health experts now equipped adequately to diagnose and treat a health issue which was previously not accepted in our society and not diagnosed for fear of being hidden or shut away in an asylum, or are we just not equipped to manage modern stresses.
The World Health Organisation (2012) defines depression as “a common mental disorder, characterised by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness, and poor concentration”. Beyond blue an Australian organisation created in response to the increase in depression diagnosis explains that the exact cause of depression isn't known and several factors can be associated with its development. It does not a result from a single event, but from a combination of recent events and other longer-term or personal factors. The complex interaction of social, psychological and biological factors affect a person, life events, changes in the brain, personal fac...
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