Depression Is Underdiagnosed, Undertreated Around The World

Depression is the leading mental health disorder worldwide. According to various studies, depression increases illness, risk of suicide, and decreases productivity around the world. New research from King’s College, Harvard Medical School, and WHO, the World Health Organization, has revealed new information about the global state of depression. Of the millions of people on the planet suffering from depression, just one in 27, in some of the world’s poorest countries, receive any kind of care for depression. Even the most minimal, and likely least effective treatment, is hardly accessible to millions of depressed individuals worldwide. How many people around the world are actually suffering from depression? The World Health Organization estimates about 350 million.

The Treatment Problem

Depression goes undiagnosed and untreated for many reasons. First, there is a pervasive stigma regarding any mental health condition, especially depression. Second, that stigma contributes to a lack of education, awareness, and understanding. Without understanding the depth of depression, there is no inspiration to raise funding to treat depression. Third, many who have depression and are aware of their condition do not feel it necessary to receive treatment.

Necessitating treatment has less to do with the severity of the diagnosis and more to do with economics, the research found. Only a third of those with depression in low income countries felt that they would need treatment. Just over half of those in upper to middle income countries felt they needed treatment. In the countries with the highest income, nearly two thirds of those with depression felt they needed treatment. Mental health treatment is still costly by way of finance as well as reputation due to stigma. These conditions prevent hundreds of millions from seeking and receiving the treatment they need to feel and live better.

Problematically, the quality of care for mental health also depends on economic availability. For some, the quality of care for depression is so poor that they are uninspired to seek help.


Refuge Recovery is committed to providing a high quality of care while working with insurance companies and personal financial situations to ensure treatment. We welcome men and women suffering from depression and offer them a clinically based, spiritually founded program. For more information on our treatment programs, call 323-207-0276.

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