Cases of depression among senior citizens and children are under-diagnosed, according to Uttara Vidyasagar, founder of Viveka Counselling Centre.
She was speaking at the World Mental Health Day programme organised by Medico Pastoral Association (MPA) in Bangalore on Thursday. She said most depressed people who seek help were in the age group 25 to 45. “There is a need to combine psychologists, sociologists and economists to understand the forces that lead to depression. Intervention cannot be monopolised,” Dr. Vidyasagar said.
Speaking on ‘Depression: a Growing Crisis’, the MPA president said depression becomes a disorder when it is prolonged and produces distress, leading to personal, social and occupational dysfunction. “Weakness, tiredness, sleeplessness, weight loss, feelings of hopelessness and guilt are some of the symptoms,” said Mohan Isaac, president, MPA.
He dispelled the myth that depression afflicts those who are weak. The disorder is the result of rapid social change consequent to increasing inequality. Over the last 15 years, suicidal tendencies are being seen in younger age groups.
At the event, 2013-2014 calendars, consisting of artworks of residents, were released by Lalitha Das, vice-president, Senior Citizens Club.
Students from Acharya Institute of Management and Sciences, Bangalore, sang songs and performed a play on the theme of depression.