World Health Day is the 7th April each year and provides an opportunity to discuss a diverse health issue affecting the world.
The theme of 2017 is Depression: Let’s Talk About it.
Depression affects a variety of people of different ages from all walks of life and has a negative impact on those who have to deal with it every day, particularly affecting relationships with friends, family and loved ones.
At its worst, depression can lead to suicide which is now the second leading cause of death amongst 15-29 year olds. (WHO, 2017)
The overarching goal of the 2017 campaign is to encourage those living with depression to seek help, to inform the general public of its impact and to provide them with the information to give support to those suffering.
Image Source (WHO)
Just as Modibodi aims to reduce the stigma surrounding menstruation, there is also a lot of stigma surrounding the topic of mental health which is why it acts as such a detrimental barrier to people seeking help and support.
Women of childbearing age (particularly post childbirth) are in a high risk category for developing depression, affecting 1 in 10 women during pregnancy and 1 in 7 women following childbirth. Women are also more likely than men to develop depression and anxiety, with major life events such as pregnancy, motherhood and menopause creating major stresses for women and if not handled quickly, these symptoms can often worsen.
The hormone changes brought on by these bodily changes can cause mood swings and irritability. This is more than just ‘baby blues’ which is often temporary, and the associated effects of depression can leave women feeling empty, worthless and numb.
Image Source (Philly)
Often women feel as though they can’t reach out and seek help for these issues for fear they might come off as dramatic or ungrateful for their new baby.
Women dealing with menopause may be embarrassed to talk about it, believing that they’re too young to be facing these changes and not wanting to discuss related symptoms such as vaginal dryness or irregular bleeding.
Women are often tasked with a lot of challenges, responsibilities and expectations and as a result, feel as though they always need to have their life together, that they need to be organised, level-headed and accessible at all times and this can be extremely overwhelming.
Modibodi has been designed as a solution that helps to reduce some of the associated stressors faced by women of all ages, at various life stages. Whether it be the bladder leaks during or after pregnancy, the irregular or unusually heavy periods for younger girls or women during perimenopause and menopause or just women who want to feel protected and secure every day. Women can often feel uncomfortable discussing these leaks and bodily changes, but they shouldn’t have to! For those who don’t want to purchase incontinence pads or wear a regular pad each day then Modibodi is the revolutionary alternative.
Feeling as though you can’t turn to those closest to you in a time of distress can leave women feeling extremely alone and alienated which only allows depressive symptoms to worsen.
There is no short supply of women ready to talk about the downside of pregnancy, including Kate Middleton and Chrissy Teigen who recently wrote an essay detailing her struggles with postpartum depression “ Postpartum does not discriminate. I couldn’t control it. And that’s part of the reason it took me so long to speak up: I felt selfish, icky, and weird saying aloud that I’m struggling. Sometimes I still do.”
Image Source (ET Online)
Changes to your body can be a confusing and worrying time, it’s important to acknowledge the difference between having a bad day and a bad week and when to admit that there may be a greater underlying issue. Its also important to know who you can turn to and depend on in these times as having a strong support network is central to recovery.
On the plus side, women are more likely to turn to friends and family and seek professional help when it all becomes too much, so there is often a lot of possibilities for recovery.
WHO 2017 wants everyone to join the conversation and highlight the importance of depression on a global scale.
Nobody should ever feel as though they are alone, and no issue is too small or too embarrassing to talk about (as Modibodi has aimed to demonstrate!)
Join the conversation and ask those around you how they are feeling, you may be surprised to learn they aren’t as happy as you thought.
Make sure you look out on the 7th April for the various activities and seminars running to spread the word about depression awareness and take it as an opportunity to discuss issues that may otherwise be put aside.