Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

2013 Edition
| Editors: Anne L. C. Runehov, Lluis Oviedo


  • Joachim CordesEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8265-8_301


According to the World Health Organization (WHO) depression is a “common mental disorder characterized by depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy and poor concentration” (www.who.int). Such symptoms can become chronic or recurrent and result in an individual no longer being able to take care of his or her everyday responsibilities. Depression can lead to suicide and results in the loss of approximately 850,000 lives every year (www.who.int). In primary care depression can be reliably diagnosed. “Antidepressant medications and structured forms of psychotherapy are effective for 60–80% of those affected and can be delivered in primary care” (www.who.int, Nice 2009). Fewer than 25% of those suffering from depression receive such treatments. There are many barriers which hinder the effectiveness of care, including a lack of resources, a lack of trained professionals and the social stigma...

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LVR Klinikum DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany