Sixty-seven percent of Canadians know someone who suffers from depression, and many have worried at some time or another whether they themselves have the condition, according to an Angus Reid survey commissioned for the Mood Disorders Society of Canada.
The World Health Organization estimates that by 2020, depression will be the world’s second leading cause of disability, behind heart disease.
“Canadians must be encouraged to seek help instead of worrying silently if they suspect depression," explains Phil Upshall, Executive Director, Mood Disorders Society of of Canada (MDSC). "It’s important to help Canadians understand that recovery from mental illness is possible.”
While survey respondents recognized social withdrawal, sleep problems and sadness as key depression symptoms, they weren’t as aware of indicators such as excessive crying, trouble concentrating, insomnia, or muscle aches.
MDSC notes that 15 percent of people suffering from depression will take their lives by suicide—a higher mortality rate than cancer and heart disease. Depression as an illness should be treated with the same degree of concern and urgency as other life threatening conditions.
It’s so frustrating to know that so many people suffer from depression, yet not enough get the treatment they need due to stigma surrounding the illness. Let’s spread the word.