The link between long-term abuse, violence, and depression in Jamaica is again being placed on the front burner as medical and other professionals seek answers to what all accept is a major problem.
Depression is one of the most common medical conditions world-wide, affecting persons across the life cycle - children, adolescents, and adults. Experts say one in five females and one in eight males suffer from depression.
The problem is to be the focus of discussion at a seminar dubbed 'Depression - Its Causes, Effects, and Remedies', which is to be held on Saturday, May 30, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston.
Presenters will include Dr Wendell Abel, Dr Anthony Allen, Dr Rose Johnson, and Bishop Joseph Ade-Gold.
The launch of the seminar last week had the support of Member of Parliament Raymond Pryce, who welcomed the initiative as important in understanding how persons who experience depression may be helped.
"When we are better able to identify what causes certain behaviours, then we are halfway there, or more, towards resolving it ... . Thank you for stepping forward and putting in place a space in which others of us can volunteer, educate, be informed and inform," said Pryce.
Guest speaker at the launch, Abel, in responding to the question from Dr Elizabeth Ward of the Violence Prevention Alliance, noted the significant link between violence - domestic and interpersonal - sustained abuse and depression.
According to Abel, this is very important in the Jamaican context. "Ours is a very abusive society. Persons who have experienced abuse and trauma especially over the long term are prone to depression."
Abel said that while depression may be missed even in treatment, often, persons do not seek treatment due to the high level of stigma associated with the condition.