Depression is now the leading cause of disability across the globe, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed.
More than 4% of the world’s population lives with depression – with young people, pregnant or post-partum women, and the elderly being most affected.
According to the United Nations (UN), the mental illness costs more than $1 trillion a year globally. This is due to loss of productivity, ‘often as a result of sufferers being unable to function at work or cope with daily life’.
“Depression is the single largest contributor to years lived with disability. So it’s the top cause of disability in the world today,” Dr Dan Chisholm from WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse said in a news briefing.
The organisation’s latest body of research found that depression is 1.5 times more common among women than men.
Discussing the three groups of people who are particularly vulnerable to depression, Dr Chisholm said: “The pressures on today’s youth are like no other generation perhaps.”
– Natasha Hinde
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