Saturday, Aug 20, 2022 | Last Update : 05:56 AM IST

  Life   Health  24 Feb 2017  More people depressed now than in decades: WHO

More people depressed now than in decades: WHO

THE ASIAN AGE. | TEENA THACKER
Published : Feb 24, 2017, 5:40 am IST
Updated : Feb 24, 2017, 6:23 am IST

Depression is more common among females (5.1%) than males (3.6%).

A study by the World Health Organisation has revealed that India has the highest rate of prevalence of depresisve disorders in the WHO’s South-East Asia region. (Photo: Pixabay)
 A study by the World Health Organisation has revealed that India has the highest rate of prevalence of depresisve disorders in the WHO’s South-East Asia region. (Photo: Pixabay)

New Delhi: People are more depressed now than they have been for decades, a new study shows. A study by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that India has the highest rate of prevalence of depresisve disorders in the WHO’s South-East Asia region. Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression, with nearly half of these people living in the South-East Asia region and the Western-Pacific region, reflecting the relatively larger populations of India and China.

According to new global health estimates on depression by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the number of people living with depression is growing, with an increase of 18 per cent between 2005-2015. India reported the maximum of 5,66,75,969 total cases of depressive disorders in 2015, followed by Indonesia (91,62,886), Bangaldesh (63,91,760). India also leads in anxiety disorders, with the total cases being reported at 3,84,25,093. 

As per the report, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease, with more women getting affected by depression than men. At its worst, depression which may lead to suicide is also affecting a large number of the population. The report reveals that close to 8,00,000 people die due to suicide every year, with suicide being the second leading cause of death in 15 to 29-year-olds.

“Although there are known, effective treatments for depression, fewer than half of those affected in the world (in many countries, fewer than 10 per cent) receive such treatments,” the report said.

With the burden of depression and other mental health conditions on the rise globally, the World Health Assembly resolution passed in May 2013 has called for a comprehensive, coordinated response to mental disorders at country level.

Important note:

  • The total number of people living with depression in the world is 322 million. 
  • The proportion of the global population with depression in 2015 is estimated to be 4.4%.
  • Depression is more common among females (5.1%) than males (3.6%). Prevalence varies by WHO Region, from a low of 2.6% among males in the Western Pacific Region to 5.9% among females in the African Region. 
  • Prevalence rates vary by age, peak in older adulthood (above 7.5% among females aged 55-74 years, and above 5.5% among males). Depression also occurs in children and adolescents below the age of 15 years, but at a lower level than older age groups.
  • The total estimated number of people living with depression increased by 18.4% between 2005 and 2015.
  • The proportion of the global population with anxiety disorders in 2015 is estimated to be 3.6%. As with depression, anxiety disorders are more common among females than males (4.6% compared to 2.6% at the global level). In the Region of the Americas, as many as 7.7% of the female population are estimated to suffer from anxiety disorder (males, 3.6%).
  • The total estimated number of people living with anxiety disorders in the world is 264 million. This total for 2015 reflects a 14.9% increase since 2005, as a result of population growth and ageing.
  • In the year 2015, it is estimated that 788000 people died due to suicide; many more than this number attempted (but did not die by) suicide. Suicide accounted for close to 1.5% of all deaths worldwide, bringing it into the top 20 leading causes of death in 2015.

Tags: who, depression, suicide