Aug 24, 2011

Details of Events on Suicide Prevention Week 2011

Details of events.

Speaker/Resource Person/Guest
2:00 pm
Online Signature Campaign p
MaFo –Chairman and Founder Member

Awareness about suicide prevention.
10:00 pm -3:00 pm

Educational Seminar on Stress, Depression, and Suicide Prevention to Urdu Medium Institutions
Makro Foundation
Confederation of Voluntary Association.
200 students
11:00 am -12:00 pm
Stress Management program in Roda Mistry College of Social Work, Gachibowli.
Dr. Niranjan Reddy  Psychologist
100 students
10:00 am
-2:00 pm
Educational seminars on Depression, Suicide Prevention amongst Students of Telugu Medium Institutions. 
Makro Foundation and Confederation of Voluntary Association.
200 Students
6:30 pm-7:30 pm
Choose Life -Candle Light Rally.
Makro Employees and Volunteers.
100 people.

11:00 am -1:00 pm
Seminar on Stress, Depression, Suicide Prevention - Hindi Medium Institutions. 
Makro Foundation
200 students
11:00 am-1:00 pm
Outreach in Public Place-Distribution of Flyers, Posters on Suicide Prevention
Makro Foundation Volunteers
4 Public Area Coverage. Secunderabad railway station and Nampally railway station.

Choose Life Campaign

Makro Foundation (MaFo) is promoting “CHOOSE LIFE Campaign –Suicide Prevention in Multicultural Societies” to mark the worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicide by organizing a weeklong awareness program  “5th September 2011- 10th September 2011” to mark the World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September 2011.

The objective is to raise Awareness in Multicultural Society and Encourage People to Adopt Help Seeking behavior and Prevent Death through Suicide.

World Suicide Prevention Day is marked globally on September 10 each year. The international theme for 2011 is "Suicide Prevention in Multi Cultural Societies”.  It is more than a day about suicide prevention. It is a day to celebrate life, to remind everyone why we should all value our lives as people, and “We need to encourage each other that anything is possible, that the darkest of times never last, and to remember that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

The day was first marked in 2003, when the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organization designated September 10.It is important to shatter the stigma on mental illness and make sure everybody knows it’s OK to talk about it, to get help, and to embrace life.
Outcome: The series of events is organized is to raise awareness through Collaboration and partnerships between communities, practitioners, research and industry about suicide being a   major preventable cause of premature death. For further details please contact us at 040-4600 4600 or log on to

Aug 8, 2011

Indians are a depressed lot, finds WHO-backed study 27/7/2011 TOI

Article in TOI dated 27/7/2011

Nearly 36% of Indians suffered from what is called major depressive episode, which is characterized by sadness, loss of interest, feelings of guilt or low self-worth.
WHO ranks depression as the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide and projects that by 2020, it will be the second leading cause
Indians are among the world's most depressed. According to a World Health Organization-sponsored study, while around 9% of people in India reported having an extended period of depression within their lifetime, nearly 36% suffered from what is called Major Depressive Episode (MDE).
MDE is characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy and poor concentration, besides feeling depressed.
Lowest prevalence of MDE was in China (12%). The average age of depression in India is 31.9 years compared to 18.8 years in China, and 22.7 years in the US.
The study, published in the BMC Medicine journal and based on interviews of more than 89,000 people in 18 different countries by 20 different researchers, says depression affects nearly 121 million people worldwide. It is the second contributor to shorter lifespan for individuals in the 15-44 age group.
Psychiatrist Dr Jitender Nagpal from VIMHANS said, "Depression can arise from day-to-day activities. However, MDE is much more serious. This is the feeling of tremendous helplessness, and worthlessness. Planned suicide is highest among those suffering from MDE. Those suffering from MDE don't have the strength to conduct day-to-day chores and become dysfunctional."
The percentage of respondents, who had lifetime MDE was higher in high-income (28.1%) than in low to middle-income (19.8%) countries. When it came to lifetime prevalence rates of depression, France (21%) and the US (19.2%) reported the highest rates of depression. Women are twice as likely to suffer depression as men and the loss of a partner, whether from death or divorce, was a main factor, the study reveals.
He added, "Increased stress, lonely lives and the falling apart of the social support systems like joint families is a major cause of growing depression among Indians." The study says, "The average lifetime and 12-month prevalence estimates of MDE were 14.6% and 5.5% in the 10 high-income and 11.1% and 5.9% in the eight low to middle-income countries. The average age of onset ascertained retrospectively was 25.7 in the high-income and 24 in low to middle-income countries. The female: male ratio was about 2:1."

for further details log on to:

Treatment for Depression.

The good news is that Depression is treatable. One’s primary care physician can effectively treat Depression by Supportive counseling, prescribing an antidepressant medication and/or referring you to a mental health professional. Understanding the underlying cause of your depression may help you overcome the problem.

1. Seek help and Support:

If even the thought of tackling your depression seems overwhelming, don’t panic. Feeling helpless and hopeless is a symptom of depression—not the reality of your situation. It does not mean that you’re weak or you can’t change! The key to Depression recovery is to start small and ask for help. Having a strong support system in place will speed your recovery. Isolation fuels depression, so reach out to others, even when you feel like being alone.

2. Make healthy lifestyle changes:

Lifestyle changes are not always easy to make, but they can have a big impact on depression. Take a good look at your own lifestyle. What changes could you make to support depression recovery?  Self-help strategies that can be very effective include:
  • Cultivating supportive relationships
  • Getting regular exercise and sleep
  • Eating a healthy, mood-boosting diet
  • Managing stress
  • Practicing relaxation techniques
  • Challenging negative thought patterns

3. Seek Help from Mental Health professionals:

If positive lifestyle changes and support from family and friends aren’t enough, seek help from a mental health professional. There are many effective treatments for depression, including therapy, medication, and alternative treatments. Learning about your options will help you decide what measures are most likely to work best for your particular situation and needs. Effective treatment for depression often includes some form of therapy. Some types of therapy teach you practical techniques on how to reframe negative thinking and employ behavioral skills in combating depression. Therapy can also help you work through the root of your depression, helping you understand why you feel a certain way, what your triggers are for depression, and what you can do to stay healthy.

Talk with your Mental Health Care Professional/Psychologist/Counselor/Therapist/ Physician about how you are feeling. Ask questions and follow through with the treatment that both you and your primary care physician/mental health professional decide is best for you, keep appointments, be open and honest.

Faces of Depression

Depression often looks different in men and women, and in young people and older adults. An awareness of these differences helps ensure that the problem is recognized and treated.

Depression in Teens:
While some depressed teens appear sad, others do not. In fact, irritability—rather than depression—is frequently the predominant symptom in depressed adolescents and teens. A depressed teenager may be hostile, grumpy, or easily lose his or her temper. Unexplained aches and pains are also common symptoms of depression in young people. Caution: Left untreated, teen depression can lead to problems at home and school, drug abuse, self-loathing—even irreversible tragedy such as homicidal violence or suicide. But with help, teenage depression is highly treatable.

Depression in Older Adults:
The difficult changes that many older adults face—such as bereavement, loss of independence, and health problems—can lead to depression, especially in those without a strong support system. However, depression is not a normal part of aging. Older adults tend to complain more about the physical rather than the emotional signs and symptoms of depression, and so the problem often goes unrecognized. Depression in older adults is associated with poor health, a high mortality rate, and an
increased risk of suicide, so diagnosis and treatment are extremely important.

Depression in Men:
Depression is a loaded word in our culture. Many associate it, however wrongly, with a sign of weakness and excessive emotion. This is especially true with men. Depressed men are less likely than women to acknowledge feelings of self-loathing and hopelessness. Instead, they tend to complain about fatigue, irritability, sleep problems, and loss of interest in work and hobbies. Other signs and symptoms of depression in men include anger, aggression, violence, reckless behavior, and substance abuse. Even though depression rates for women are twice as high as those in men, men are a higher suicide risk, especially older men.

Depression in Women
Rates of depression in women are twice as high as they are in men. This is due in part to hormonal factors, particularly when it comes to premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), postpartum depression, and peri menopausal depression. As for signs and symptoms, women are more likely than men to experience pronounced feelings of guilt, sleep excessively, overeat, and gain weight. Women are also more likely to suffer from seasonal affective disorder.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Depression varies from person to person, but there are some common signs and symptoms. It’s important to remember that these symptoms can be part of life’s normal lows. But the more symptoms one has, the stronger they are, and the longer they’ve lasted—the more likely it is that one is dealing with depression. When these symptoms are overwhelming and disabling, that's when it's time to seek help. The severity, frequency and duration of symptoms will vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness.

Symptoms include:
  • Persistent sad, anxious or "empty" feelings
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable.
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
  • Insomnia, early–morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment

Causes of Depression

The Risk factors for depression are:
  • Loneliness
  • Lack of social support
  • Recent stressful life experiences
  • Family history of depression
  • Marital or relationship problems
  • Financial strain
  • Early childhood trauma or abuse
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Unemployment or underemployment
  • Health problems or chronic pain

What is Depression?

Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad, but these feelings are usually fleeting and pass within a couple of days. When a person has a depressive disorder, it interferes with daily life, normal functioning, and causes pain for both the person with the disorder and those who care about him or her. Depression is a common but serious illness, and most who experience it need treatment to get better.

Many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment. But the vast majority, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with treatment. Intensive research into the illness has resulted in the development of medications, psychotherapies, and other methods to treat people with this disabling disorder.

This information is provided by the blog  for informational purposes only and is not intended to direct treatment decisions or offer medical advice. All patient care and related decisions are the sole responsibility of the treating provider.