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Health News of Wednesday, 5 April 2017


40% of people in Ghana are depressed – Psychologist

Depression is a health condition which is prevalent in Ghana, with four to five out of every 10 persons suffering from the condition, Dr Carnita Groves, a psychologist and professional counsellor, has revealed.

“Out of 10, probably four or five people at any given time will be suffering from depression because it is very prevalent,” he told Moro Awudu on Class FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Wednesday, April 5.

April 7 is celebrated as World Health Day to mark the founding of WHO – a specialised UN agency concerned with international public health.

This year, the World Health Day theme is “Depression: Let’s Talk”.

According to the WHO, depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide, with the latest estimates suggesting more than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18 per cent between 2005 and 2015.

Additionally, WHO states on its website that lack of support for people with mental disorders, coupled with a fear of stigma, prevents many from accessing the treatment they need to live healthy, productive lives.

On the back of many suicide cases making headlines in Ghana between February and March 2017, Dr Groves has underscored the need for depression to be addressed, since one of the outcomes of untreated depression is suicide.

Dr Groves explained that some mild forms of depression are resolved naturally by the body while others require treatment.

“Some depression for some people resolves on its own. Just give it a matter of time and with or without you it is just going to self-correct, because the body is always trying to reach a place of homeostasis, so some of it will resolve naturally. But if it does not get resolved and is left untreated, it can go from bad to worse and can lead to other psychological and health issues,” he added.

For her, even though the pharmaceutical industry will want depressed persons to be prescribed with medication while they line their pockets, she prefers homeopathic or holistic camps where the condition is resolved naturally.

She added that psychotherapy or talk therapy is also helpful in helping people get over depression.

“We say people are depressed not because they are deficient in any chemical drug. They are depressed at least so far as nutrition is concerned, because they are deficient in prebiotics or probiotics. Maybe they are not getting enough fibre to help stabilise their blood sugar.

Maybe they are not well hydrated and simply not drinking enough water on a given day… If you are not getting enough nutrients, your brain is not going to fill [with required nutrients], so we tend to approach it that way and look at behaviour and lifestyle as the most effective way to deal with depression,” she added