Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington’s tragic death has created a fresh interest in rising mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Bennington, who recently committed suicide, is said to have struggled with depression and substance abuse throughout his life.
According to the World Health Organisation(WHO), there’s been a 20% increase in global depression in a decade, making the debilitating disorder linked to suicide the leading cause of disability worldwide. With so many people affected by this disorder, it has become even more important to find ways of easily identifying it in ourselves or those close to us in order to stop it from taking over a healthy life.
What is Depression and how can it affect your life?
The WHO describes depression as a “persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that people normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities for two weeks or more. Lack of energy, shifts in appetite or sleep patterns, substance abuse, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness and thoughts of self-harm or suicide are also common, and can wreak havoc on entire families”.
Treatment Options and Dangers of leaving condition unattended
Shekhar Saxena, head of the WHO’s mental health and substance abuse department, says that both psycho-social and medical treatments could be highly effective.
“Early identification and treatment of depression is a very effective means of decreasing death by suicide”.
About 800 000 people commit suicide worldwide every year, amounting to one suicide every four seconds.
And the link to depression is clear.
Saxena pointed to studies showing that 70 to 80% of people who commit suicide in high-income countries, and around half of those who kill themselves in low-income countries, suffer from mental disorders, of which depression is the most common.
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) offers a professional counselling staff, headquartered in Sandton, Gauteng, who operate the counselling lines from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. Contact SADAG to speak to a counsellor on 011 234 4837
Celebrities who have committed suicide due to depression
Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain shot himself on April 5, 1994.
Comedian and Oscar Winning actor Robin Williams was found dead in his home on August 11, 2014, after hanging himself on his bedroom doorknob.
Fashion designer and stylist L’Wren Scott, hanged herself on March 17, 2014.