Are we really in the midst of a depression epidemic

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Are we really in the midst of a “depression epidemic” Introduction Everywhere you look these days there are new headlines, government reports and health experts claiming that ‘depression is on the rise’ and we are in the midst of a ‘depression epidemic’. Are we really? Are we 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 expected in modern times? The Australian and the World Health Organisational mental health and depression statistics show a dramatic increase in the diagnosis of depression over the last 10 years, however the increase in 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 diagnosis and treat a health issue which was previously not accepted in our society and not diagnosed in fear being hidden or shut away in an asylum, or are we just not equipped to cope with 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 organisation created in response to the increase in depression cases explains that “while the exact cause of depression isn't known, a number of things can be associated with its development. Depression does not result from a single event, but from a combination of recent events and other longer-term or personal factors”. Life events, changes in the brain, personal facto... ... middle of paper ... ... of computers and phones have seen the reduction of the need for actual human interaction and development of skills needed to form social networks and bonds to assist when pressures or life tragedies occur. Advancement in treatments, health professional training and diagnosis has enabled people to seek experts who are willing and able to assist patients. No longer are people afraid of being exiled into asylums and mental hospitals of the past. All of these factors raise the question; is it a behavioural epidemic or ‘normal behaviour’ in this era.. More focus should be shifted to the emphasis of education in coping with mild signs and symptoms of depression and health, lifestyle and wellbeing. Changing societies thinking by enforcing the ‘positive growth of life experiences’ and not reinforcing the ’negative patterns or situation’ which continues the depressive cycle.

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