In Mexico, 71% of adolescents have presented at least two depressive symptoms

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Depression is the mental health disorder that most impacts Mexicans and adolescents are the population most affected, revealed Evalinda Barrón, general director of the National Commission on Mental Health and Addictions (Conasama).

“In 2022, in Mexico we know that 71% of adolescents presented at least two depressive symptoms. 11.3% of adults between 20 and 59 years old also presented depressive symptoms and 38.3% of older adults in those who sought care in health services,” she noted.

On the other hand, during the virtual ceremony for Mental Health Day that is commemorated on October 10, José Moya Medina, representative in Mexico of the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), pointed out that in the region of the Americas, stigma, discrimination and violation of the human rights of people who have a mental disorder persist, who in many cases are subjected to coercive practices and abuse, even in the hospitals where they are treated.

“It is estimated that 1 in every 8 people in the world suffers from mental disorders, depressive disorders represent the third cause of years lived with disability, followed by anxiety and substance use disorders. The behavior of suicide rates is also alarming because between 2000 and 2019, the suicide rate increased 17%,” explained the PAHO official.

Key facts about depression, according to the World Health Organization

Depression, recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a significant mental disorder, is distinguished not only by episodes of sadness but also by persistent loss of interest in activities that normally provide pleasure, along with a notable inability to perform daily tasks, sometimes extending for two weeks or more.

According to the WHO, depression presents a wide variety of symptoms. These can range from a decrease in energy to significant changes in appetite, irregular sleeping habits, states of anxiety, difficulty concentrating, feelings of low self-esteem and hopelessness, and in more severe cases, it can manifest in the form of recurrent thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

Graphic: UNAMGlobal TV

It is important to emphasize, as the WHO emphasizes, that depression is not simply a weakness of character or a condition that can be overcome with only "willpower." There is a range of effective treatments that include both psychosocial interventions and pharmacological support.

Furthermore, exposure to adverse situations, such as acts of violence, can be a trigger for the development of depression or related disorders. People in these circumstances may experience everything from anxiety and stress to anger, difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite, and sleep disturbances such as nightmares. The WHO highlights the importance of identifying these signs and accessing the resources and treatments necessary to manage depression and improve quality of life.

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