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News Article

Shortening 14-Year Diagnosis Gap on Depression

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 01/13/2022 - 17:47

On Jan. 13, the world observes the Day to Combat Depression, an emotional disorder that affects almost 300 million people in the world and is considered the leading global cause of disability.

Depression affects 3.8 percent of the global population, including 5 percent of adults and 5.7 percent of adults older than 60 years. It is a common, serious mood disorder that “causes severe symptoms that affect how people feel, think and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating or working,” explains the US National Institute of Mental Health.

It is also the most common mental health disorder among young individuals and causes the highest number of work absences, told MBN former Director of National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery (INNN), Miguel Ángel Solis. Depression reduces productivity and leads people to withdraw from society. “It also places a significant toll on families and society, when the condition is severe it leads to suicide,” Solis said.

Depression can detonate from biological, social, current or past events and it can manifest through feelings of sadness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions and thoughts of death or suicide. There are two types of depression, according to INNN. The first is primary depression, which leads patients to the doctor. The other is secondary or masked depression, which occurs when this disease accompanies another medical condition and can sometimes be worse.

Detecting depression can be challenging. “There is a large number of people who will get some sort of mental disorder at some point in their life and the concern is whether or not doctors are diagnosing them,” Oscar Parra, Independent Pharmaceutical Consultant, told MBN.

“In Mexico, the average time between experiencing the first symptoms and seeking help is 14 years,” said Andrea Campos, Founder Director, Yana.

The alternatives to identify and treat depression have increased. From drug treatment and psychological therapy to online accompaniment, depression is getting much more attention and less stigma than it used to. As tech advances, novel solutions such as mental health apps can provide a way to connect users with the adequate treatment.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst