Today is World Mental Health Day with a focus on depression.
If you have been around here for any amount of time you know that I suffer from depression. I have been depressed for my entire life. I don't remember a time before it. It has gotten really bad before when I have hurt myself or had thoughts of suicide. Fortunately, I am much more stable now with my daily medications, biweekly therapy sessions, and my loving, supportive family. I worry about my son because he is two to three times more likely to develop it because I have it. It is not something I should worry about, though, because I cannot change his genetics. I can just try and support him in any way possible.
World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) has some great information on both World Mental Health Day and depression. People all over the world and in every culture suffer from depression. It is estimated to affect 350 million people, but fewer than 25% have access to treatment. Ethiopia, for instance, has only 26 psychiatrists for its 80 million people. Some countries only have a single psychiatrist. We need to expand education and awareness to people worldwide. We also need to make treatment available to all.