5 percent of the adult population suffers from depression in Latin America and Caribbean, but six out of ten do not receive treatment, said Tuesday the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
Comparatively, 8% of North Americas (USA) suffers from depression.
At the World Mental Health conference held on 10 October, the regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that this disease affects 350 million people worldwide.
The agency said that despite being a treatable disease, there are still many patients who do not seek or do not receive the treatment they need and Latin America about 63,000 people commits suicide annually.
PAHO says many patients hide their depression to avoid being stigmatized and has therefore launched the “Depression, a global crisis” to increase awareness of the disease and sufferers learn to recognize and deal with it as it “has a good prognosis if treated promptly and appropriately.”
Mild cases and some moderates “can be solved, basically, social support, family, brief psychotherapy or other forms of psychosocial intervention that can be performed by primary care physicians or health care organizations that provide community support people, “he said.
In this sense, the organization regretted that it still need investment in primary care in the region, where the percentage of the health budget allocated to mental health is less than 2 percent of this, 67 percent goes to psychiatric.
However, PAHO recognizes that there has been progress and 76.5 percent of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have a national mental health plan.
Depression is a mental disorder that affects more people in the world and it is estimated that 25 percent of the world population suffers from one or more mental or behavioral disorders throughout his life.
Mental and neurological disorders account for 14 percent of the global burden of disease worldwide and 22 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Among mental disorders in Latin America and the Caribbean, depression is the biggest impact (5%), followed by anxiety disorders (3.4%), dysthymia (1.7%), obsessive compulsive (1.4%), panic disorder and non-affective psychosis (1% each), and bipolar disorder (0.8%), among others.
Depression is more common in women than in men. Between two and four in ten mothers in developing countries suffer from depression during pregnancy or postpartum.
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica