This week, charity Depression Alliance are hosting a week long campaign to raise awareness of depression. The charity is calling for mental health issues to be placed at the top of health agendas.
Taking place every year in April, the Depression Awareness Week is held with the aim of raising funds and ending the stigma associated with depression. This week people are being encouraged to hold their own fundraising events and raise awareness in their local areas.
An issue we’ve covered on a number of occasions at One&Other (click here), depression is the most common illness amongst young people and adults alike with one in four people experiencing some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year. Depression has any number of causes or triggers, a wide range of symptoms, and is often surrounded by stigma.
The Depression Awareness Week is calling for better care and support for people with long term ill health conditions and depression. Based on a new report produced by a coalition of charities, people with long term conditions such as diabetes and heart disease are twice or three times more likely to experience depression.
Spokesperson for the coalition and Chief Executive of Depression Alliance, Emer O’Neill said: “Depression is a debilitating condition and having a double whammy of a long term condition and depression has undoubtedly serious effects on a person’s quality of life and health. As a coalition of charities, we are calling for equal importance to be given to the physical and psychological symptoms of long term conditions”.
The demands placed on an individual due to long term illnesses, the effects it may have on their mobility, independence, life style, and view of themselves, as well the treatment of the illness, may cause depression. Depression is most likely to occur when an illness involves pain, disability, or social isolation.
Being depressed can damage an individual’s health further, which just serves to increase levels of depression, creating a vicious circle. The illness can seriously impact a person’s ability and motivation to self-manage their condition. For example, people with diabetes suffering from depression are more likely to suffer from an episode of diabetic burnout. This can have an adverse effect on their physical health and cause further long term health complications.
To read more about the effects of physical illness on an individual’s mental health visit the Depression Alliance website