’More women suffer from depression than men’

It is basically a mood disorder where patients experience sense of grief and sadness.

It is basically a mood disorder where patients experience sense of grief and sadness.

Psychologists said depression is considered one of the widest psychiatric illnesses in Arab and Western communities and hits 9 percent of males and 12 percent of females, a local publication reported.

They noted that although depression is classified under mental disorders characterized by dysfunctional mood, it may nonetheless be a natural reaction to the events of everyday life and the impacts of neurological disorders that affect the feelings and thoughts of people.

Zakaria Ibrahim Al-Madeh, a psychologist and member of the group of Friends for Mental Health, explained depression by saying: “It is basically a mood disorder where patients experience sense of grief and sadness, loss in their desire for anything coupled with chemical changes in the brain.”

He added that depression can be addressed with knowledge and behavioral therapy in addition to medications. “It is a common illness in the communities with patients accounting for one in every 20 healthy persons, while the ratio between women and men stands at 2:1,” he said. He said sometimes specialists use meditation and relaxation as one means of therapy. “Some studies estimated that 35-47 percent of depression patients suffer sexual problems. It affects the sexual aspect of the person, as much as other organs of the body. Any declined sexual activity is coupled with the overall low morale and general activity,” he explained.

Dr. Ibrahim Hassan Al-Khuthair said depression very much hurts those suffering from it. “It makes depressed persons live a life of misery, sadness and grief. They cannot enjoy anything in their lives,” he said.

He added that depressed patients think life is not worth living, that death is better than life. “Some may tend to end their lives when their depression reaches a level where they cannot take it anymore,” he said.

He cited figures on suicide rates, saying that 15 percent of people suffering depression end their lives. The rates among men range from 6 to 9 percent, while among women the proportion ranges from 9 to 12 percent, a high percentage, according to him.

A woman, who preferred to be identified only as M.R.A., said she suffered depression for three years. “I went to see a doctor who described a medication for me. One of the reasons for my depression was the bad treatment I received at the hands of my husband. I appeal to all husbands to treat their wives well and with sympathy and affection,” she said.

Another patient, S.M., said she suffered depression after her father died. “Most of the times I sat alone in my room, even during family gatherings,” she said.

G.R. said her depression is almost like “death.” She said she suffered depression because of her fear of school exams. “When I sit with people who are laughing, I feel depressed. When I remember my late father, I cry more and feel suffocated,” she added.


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