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Study: Depression big threat to human health

A new study by the World Health Organization reveals that depression is one of the greatest threats to human health. Globally, tens of millions of people suffer from mental illness, but most of them go untreated, according to a new study from the World Health Organization. Researchers analyzed information on more than 245,000 people from 60 countries. Participants answered questions on how much trouble they had walking, exercising, or with daily activities such as dressing or washing themselves. Doctors found that depression often went hand-in-hand with other chronic illnesses such as angina, arthritis, diabetes, or asthma. Patients with a long-term health problem were between two and five times more likely to suffer from depression compared to the general population. And depression made other illnesses much worse - depression combined with any single chronic health problem led to more disability than any other two chronic health problems put together. Experts say that depression is quite treatable, but that most people don't get the help they need. Doctors say more and more people are trying to use the internet to diagnose their own health problems, or cyber-chondriacs. Dr. Catherine Sotir of Wilmington Health Associates says that can be dangerous, because you may not realize how serious a problem you have -- or you may think you have something you don't. Dr. Sotir says it's great to be prepared with background information before you go to the doctor, but don't get into the habit of visiting websites instead of visiting your physician.

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