Global Burden of Depression

1. The Australian study conducted by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows depression as no 1 disease that causes disability in Australia. 4% males and 7% females are affected.

2. 62% of cases do not get any mental health intervention.

3. 75% of those who do receive care are dealt with in primary care.

4. Disability-adjusted life -years (DALY) is a measure of the years of ‘healthy’ life lost due to illness or injury (one DALY is a one-lost year of ‘healthy’ life). Depression contributes to 3.7% of DALY.

5. In the younger persons, those with alcohol, tobacco and cannabis abuse at high risk to develop co-morbidities with depression whereas the older ones are those with vascular diseases and cognitive impairment.

6. Problem with our patients and services are:  i) poor access to risky patients esp the young and the old, ii) lack of funding for atypical antidepressants, iii) poor recognition by the society and family members, iv) non-compliance to standard treatment, v) denial by society at large, vi) traditional belief in emphasis on religious-based treatment, vii) lack of proper in-patient facility to treat depressive patient, viii) lack of continuous care and support, ix) lack of integrated medical care between medical and psychological services x) little recognition of management of comorbid substance abuse

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