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The WHO theme for World Mental Health Day 2017, observed on October 10 globally, is ‘Depression: Let’s Talk’.
The WHO theme for World Mental Health Day 2017, observed on October 10 globally, is ‘Depression: Let’s Talk’.

Common Mental Disorders on the Rise

The overall goal of the one-year campaign that started from the previous World Mental Health Day last October, is that more people with depression, in all countries, seek and get help

Common Mental Disorders on the Rise

Based on the World Health Organization’s calculations, anxiety and depression are on the rise globally, said Ali Ahmad Nourbala, advisor to health minister and secretary of the upcoming 7th Annual Meeting on Mental Health and Media.
“According to national studies between 2000 and 2015, the rate of mental disorders increased by 2.6% in the country,” he told reporters.
The most common mental disorders are anxiety disorder with 15.6%, followed by severe depression with 12.7%.
The WHO theme for World Mental Health Day 2017, observed on October 10 globally, is ‘Depression: Let’s Talk’. The overall goal of this one-year campaign that started from the previous World Mental Health Day last October, is that more people with depression, in all countries, seek and get help.
“The reason behind this decision is that depression affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries,” said Nourbala.
It also aims to ensure that the general public is better informed about depression, the causes and possible consequences, including suicide, and what help is or can be available for prevention and treatment; that people with depression seek help; and family, friends and colleagues  provide support.
Depression causes mental anguish and impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends and the ability to earn a living. “At worst, depression can lead to suicide.”
Yet, depression can be prevented and treated. A better understanding of what depression is, and how it can be prevented and treated, will help reduce the stigma associated with the condition, and lead to more people seeking help.

  Iran Data
Pointing to mental disorder prevalence in the country, Nourbala said in 2000, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari had the highest and Yazd Province the lowest rates of psychological disorders with 36.5% and 5.7% respectively. In 2015, the rates shifted to 20.3% and 20%.
Psychological disorders can lead to physical ailments over time, including non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that are the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. The rate of physical ailments caused due to mental disorders in 2000 was 17% in Iran, which increased to 23% in 2015, a 6.6% hike over the 15-year period.
The WHO has reported that mental illnesses are the leading causes of disability adjusted life years (DALYs) worldwide, accounting for 37% of healthy years lost from NCDs. Depression alone accounts for one third of this disability.
While the rate of anxiety disorder increased to 25.6% in 2015 from 20% in 2000 in Iran, the overall rate of mental disorders has rapidly increased among the residents of Tehran during this period.
“Markazi Province with 20.78%, Yazd with 16.6% and Isfahan with 14.7% had the highest growth rates of mental disorders in the 15-year period,” Nourbala noted.
Meanwhile, the northern Golestan Province had the highest decline rate (25.8%) to 6%, which shows an improvement in the overall psychological health status of the people in the region.
He also said that 15-20% of all patients admitted to hospitals for physical problems suffer from some form of mental condition. The rate of chronic mental ailment is 40% among people with chronic physical problems.
Noting that mental health is not only a matter of public concern, he said it is also a huge economic global burden.
The World Economic Forum 2012 report estimated the global economic burden of mental health at nearly $2.5 trillion (two-thirds in indirect costs) in 2010, with a projected increase to over $6 trillion by 2030.
At the core of the global campaign is the importance of talking about depression as a vital component of recovery. The stigma surrounding mental illness, including depression, remains a barrier to people seeking help throughout the world.
Talking about depression, whether with a family member, friend or medical professional; in larger groups, for example in schools, the workplace and social settings; or in the public domain, in the news media, blogs or social media, helps break down this stigma, ultimately leading to more people seeking help.

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