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Annual report 2013


Depressive disturbance represents a significant public health problem in Europe. World Health Organisation has found that:

  • Nowadays depression is fourth among the most important health problems;
  • Around 2020 depression will represent second world health problem;
  • Depression is the most important cause of disability among adults.

It is assumed that more than 120 million people are affected with this disturbance during one or more stages of their lives. In Europe, depression affects around 13% of inhabitans during lifetime. If the actual trends will continue by 2030 depression might become the single most important health disturbance in Europe.

Inspite all accumulated knowledge the complexity of the disturbance is not fully understood, what casts a shadow on possibility and accuracy of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. It is suggested that the depressive disturbance is not recognized in 50% of cases, not treated in 75%, insufficiently treated in 90%, and adequately treated in only 10% of cases. The depressive disturbance represents the burden for a person and the whole family. At the same time it represents a heavy economic burden for every society.

Depression is a syndrome characterized by :

  • Mood disorder;
  • Disorder in functions of the autonomic nervous system, what is mirrored in sleep, apetite, body weight, sexual needs ...;
  • Cognitive symptoms like weakened concentration and memorizing possibilities ...;
  • Behavioural disturbances like suicidal ideations and attempts, loss of motivation, interests, lack of feeling of satisfaction, tiredness, propensity to headaches and  other painful somatic sensations, etc.

As a response to the recognized need for preventive and therapeutic actions regarding depression the European parliament expressed in 2008 the approval for the Mental Health Platform of EU, and 2009 the Expert Platform on Mental Health – Focus on Depression was established.

Since 2010  in Croatia  Depression Day is organized by the Croatian Medical Association – Croatian Association for Clinical Psychiatry and association Healthy City in Split. The chairs of that project are psychiatrists prof. Ivan Urlić, M.D.,Ph.D., prof. Slađana Štrkalj Ivezić, M.D.,Ph.D., and Andrea Russo, Ph.D., prof.psychol. Depression can be identified in children, adolescents, young, middleaged and people in third life age, and as comorbidity of numerous somatic and  psychic  illnesses and disturbances.

The aim of the project is that in Europe, through the activity regarding improvement of sensibility of professional and laic circles for the problem of depression, that sensitivity spreads from October 1st – European Depression Day, on the activity during the whole October lecturing, organizing workshops and different other manifestations in order to inform citizens about the importance of recognizing, treating, as well as prevention of depression. Actually it has special importance due to deep economic and general social crisis, what represent important unfavorable factors for maintenance and improvement of mental health.


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