Shimla: Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) doctors study shows that one­tenth of elderly residing in district Shimla are suffering from depression. A study titled ‘Prevalence and risk factors for depression in elderly North Indians’ conducted by Dr. Anmol Gupta, Dr. Ravi Sharma and Dr. Kamlesh Sharma revealed that elderly of lower income group consuming tobacco and experiencing stressful life from past one year are having three or more chronic diseases. They are also lacking positive approach toward life and were found to be more depressed, the study further revealed.

The study recommended that persons lacking positive approach toward life need to be identified by screening and should be focused on so as to reduce the probability of occurrence of depression.

In another study titled ‘Prevalence and predictors of suicidal ideations among school going adolescents in a hilly state of India’, conducted by Dr Ravi Sharma, Dr Anmol Gupta and Dr Durgesh Thakur of IGMC, Shimla, found that around 30 percent of senior school going students had experienced suicidal ideation in previous year. Adolescents in the age group of 16–19 years (121; 37.8%) were significantly having more suicide ideation as compared to those aged in the group of 14–15 years (97; 25.2%).

The study found that discussing problems with parents, having good relations with school teachers and helpful classmates lowered the risk of having suicidal ideations. On the contrary, adolescents having worrying issues in family, verbally or physically abused and body image conscious had increased chances of suicidal ideations.

April 7th is celebrated as World Health Day, and this year the World Health Organization (WHO) is running a campaign called ‘Depression Let’s Talk’. As per WHO, Depression is an illness characterized by persistent sadness and loss of interest in activities that a person normally enjoys accompanied by inability to carry out daily activities for at least two weeks.

Statistics suggests that more than 300 million people around the globe are living with depression, and is a leading cause of poor health and disability that increases the risk of suicide, heart disease and diabetes. Depression is a treatable condition, but despite this, about 50 percent cases even in developed countries go untreated. Lack of support and fear of stigma, prevent many people from receiving treatment. For someone living with depression, talking to someone who he/she trusts is the first step towards treatment and recovery.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.