World Health Organization (WHO) reckons that depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and National Institute of Health (NIH) in the U.S. agrees with this assessment. This is a big public health concern and an all pervasive a health problem as pain or sleep disorders are. It happens to all of us but the sensation usually passes after a while without any lasting effect. It is only when it lingers on and is unmanageable that it demands urgent attention. According to Atlanta based Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Georgia, the U.S. lifetime prevalence rate of depression was 50% way back in 2004. At any given time depression rate among the Americans ranges between 6.8% and 8.7%.Depression is not a trivial illness that it will go away of its own. On the contrary, first episode of depression means a 50% increase in chance of another bout of depression. But many people with depression are not coming forward for diagnosis and treatment of depression. As such both diagnosis and treatment are delayed or missed and the outcome worsens. Even severe cases of depression are treatable and respond to an adequate treatment. With delayed diagnosis and delayed treatment, prognosis of recovery falls. But most of the people with depression do not receive even the minimally necessary treatment. Another disheartening realization is that those people who start the treatment do not complete it and a significant number of them drop out from the treatment list abruptly when they see some signs of initial progress. This results in recurrence of their condition.
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