At a World Health Day event on Sunday, Iran’s Health Minister, Hassan Ghazizadeh said, “The people are victims of wrong decisions made by a number of policymakers and what we see today is unfortunately in a path of hopelessness.” He added that in the past 26 years the number of people suffering from depression in Iran has doubled.
Ghazizadeh continued, “Issues such as unemployment, losing loved ones, road accidents and excessive use of narcotics have resulted in an increasing number of psychological disorders and depression.” He added, “Young men and women, even juveniles, at times suffer from depression in life, and our society is currently full of these problems. But unfortunately, politicians close their eyes to such issues and only add to the problems. Women at the age of pregnancy and those in the early months of their pregnancy, as well as people over the age of 60 are amongst the most vulnerable of groups.”
Compared to other countries regarding cases of severe depression, Iran’s conditions are worse. The Health Minister said, “Our problems regarding depression and mental disorders are quite a few. In our country, women suffer from depression more than men, and currently this mental disorder has increased by 50%.”
Those suffering the most from severe depression live in the cities in the provinces of Tehran, such as Fars, Isfahan and Chaharmahal & Bakhtiari, respectively. “Living in the city outskirts is another issue leading to depression. Widespread migration from villages to cities and their changing lifestyle cause the most severe psychological and spiritual damage, and those living in the city outskirts are dealing with the worst conditions,” Ghazizadeh added.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. That's 6.9 percent of the population. It is a leading cause of illness and disability. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health highlights the problem among young adults.
In Iran, more than 12% of adults in Iran suffer from depression, that’s almost twice the number stated by the WHO for people all over the world. Additionally, more than 14% of people in Iran also have symptoms of anxiety disorders. These statistics come from Iran’s Health Ministry Office of Psychological and Social Health.
Iran’s Health Minister places the total number of people suffering from mental disorders in Iran at over 23%.