According to estimates of the World Health Organisation, depression will have become the second biggest health issue in the world by 2020, and antidepressants are the most prescribed drugs in Croatia, says Alma Mihaljevic-Peles, head of the psychiatric ward at the Clinical Hospital Centre in Zagreb (KBC Zagreb).
This past Monday, the hospital marked World Mental Health Day, observed on 10 October, and the theme this year was "Psychological first aid".
In Croatia, some 19% of women and 10% of men are believed to suffer from depression.
The increasing consumption of antidepressants indicate that depression is on the rise.
Psychiatrist Marijana Bras calls for paying more attention to detecting disguised symptoms and somatic symptom disorders such as pain disorders, that is chronic pain, back pains and abdominal pains.
Medicines have helped to reduce the suicide rates, but we have not yet managed to prevent the development of this disease, Mihaljevic-Peles has told a news conference.
Depression is one of the main causes of work disability, and this disease is likely to become the second most common health problem after cardiovascular diseases.
Mihaljevic-Peles has commented on the importance of prevention, which includes healthy nutrition, physical activity and quality relationships at home and at work.
World Mental Health Day, observed on 10 October, was introduced for the first time in 1992.