According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is now the most common cause of disability and other health issues throughout the globe, Self reports.
From 2005 to 2015, depression rose more than 18 percent, the organization said in a statement. As of 2015, roughly 322 million people suffer from depression around the world.
Equally as worrying as the amount of people living with depression is how many of these people are not getting treatment. WHO discovered that only 50 percent of people with depression in high-income countries receive treatment. In low-income countries, only 80 to 90 percent of people with the disorder get the care they need.
Government funding – or lack thereof – is the root of the treatment problem. According to WHO, governments only allot about 3 percent of their health budgets to mental health programs.
“These new figures are a wake-up call for all countries to re-think their approaches to mental health and to treat it with the urgency it deserves,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan stated.
The organization defines depression as a “persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that people normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities for two works or more.”
This inability to carry out daily activities, as well as other symptoms such as lethargy, sleep issues, substance abuses, and anxiety makes the disorder a financial concern as well as a psychological one. In fact, depression and issues related to it cost about $1 trillion worldwide each year, according to WHO estimates.
In recent years there has been a more focused movement on decreasing the stigma against mental health. This has led to more people, including many celebrities, to speak publicly about their struggles with mental health disorders.
Chan believes this is encouraging.
“For someone living with depression, talking to a person they trust is often the first step towards treatment and recovery.”