34 per cent Pakistanis suffer from depression: expert

Karachi: “Depression is the most common mental disorder in Pakistan as around 34 per cent population of the country is suffering from this disease. Around 154 million people worldwide are suffering from depression. Someone somewhere in the world commits suicide every 40 seconds, mainly due to depression, said Prof. Dr. Mohammad Iqbal Afridi, Head of Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center.

Addressing at the 23rd Public Awareness Seminar on “Promotion of Mental Health and Prevention of Psychological Disorders”, held at LEJ National Science Information Centre -International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences- University of Karachi (UoK) here on Wednesday, he said good mental health is the foundation for an individual’s and a community’s effective functioning and well-being.

He said nearly 450 million people suffer from mental and behavioral disorders worldwide. He said that  person who is mentally healthy has a state of wellbeing in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

He said that mental health included depression; bipolar disorder; schizophrenia; alcohol and drug abuse disorders, dementia; post-traumatic stress disorder; obsessive compulsive disorder; panic disorder; and primary insomnia are common mental problems in Pakistan.

He said that mental disorders could be treated, adding, “Citizens should keep up a balance in their life. Discipline of life requires proper sleep, work, pray, exercise, diet, good social relationship, expression of your feelings, spirit to fight against mental stress, and consultation with a doctor in case of any health complain.”

He said that mental and other health problems were interlinked. According to World Health Organization (WHO), “health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity and Health promotion is “the process of enabling people to increase control over their health and its determinants, and thereby improve their health.”

“Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. It moves beyond a focus on individual behavior towards a wide range of social and environmental interventions. The purpose of health promotion is to positively influence the health behavior of individuals and communities as well as the living and working conditions that influence their health,” he added.

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