Depression on the rise in Azerbaijan - increased awareness or levels of mental illness?
More and more cases of depression and borderline personality disorders are being registered among residents of Azerbaijan, says psychiatrist Geray Geraybeyli.
Geraybeyli, the chief psychiatrist of the country and rector of the Medical University, says that in 2017, 0.6 per cent of the population was afflicted with schizophrenia, while 10 per cent suffered from depression.
Who is most affected by depression?
Geraybeyli says women are more likely to suffer from depression than men. Men in turn are more likely to be affected by psychoneurotic disorders, with both categories affecting younger and middle-aged people more often than the elderly.
Are more people getting depression or are more seeking treatment?
Geraybeyli says that the increase in the number of psychological diagnoses is connected to an increased level of people seeking treatment.
However, he says that it is difficult to obtain proper statistics for the number of people suffering from depression and other psychological disorders in Azerbaijan. First off, people do not always recognize the symptoms, and secondly, because of the popular belief that only “crazies” go to psychiatrists or psychologists. For that reason many avoid seeking help as they are embarrassed of their condition and they try to ignore their symptoms. In even more severe cases, they may try to buy antidepressants from pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription.
However, an employee of the Centre for Psychological Health, Kamilla Talibova, says that the stereotype has been losing ground and that more and more people are seeking help.