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Move to nip depression in the bud

By ZHANG ZHOUXIANG | China Daily | Updated: 2020-09-15 07:27


The National Health Commission has asked high schools and colleges to screen students' mood disorders during annual physical examinations, hospitals to screen women for depression during pregnancy, and communities to conduct annual screening of senior citizens for any signs of depression.

The NHC's move has brought much-needed attention to mental health, something that was for long ignored. The move will make more people aware of how serious an issue depression is and help those who are diagnosed with it fight it better. Making more people realize that it is a mental condition that requires treatment is the first step toward fighting it.

The exact cause of depression is unknown, but it has a lot to do with the lack of secretion in the brain of hormones such as dopamine, which are essential for realizing happiness and excitement. It is not possible to root out this mental disorder, but if detected earlier, its progress can be checked to a large extent.

Also, playing games and communicating more with people have been found to be good ways to curb the disorder. Jogging, skipping and doing some exercises can help boost secretion of these hormones preventing depressive disorder.

However, the most important prerequisite is for people to recognize that depression is a mental disorder. Only when that happens will people pay more attention to depression and supporting policies will be introduced to help those with the condition.

The NHC's move is therefore a positive one. Screening individuals in schools, hospitals and communities will make it possible to identify those with the mental condition so they can get the help they need.

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