Depression and anxiety: a snapshot of the situation in Pakistan

Bilaal Ahmed, School of Public Health, Boston University, USA
Syed Faaiz Enam, Aga Khan University
Zafar Iqbal, Drug Testing Laboratory, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan
Ghulam Murtaza, Faculty of Medicine, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia
Shahid Bashir, Faculty of Medicine, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia


Background: Depression is a great cause of morbidity around the world. Not one person seems to escape the hollow dread that the disease can bring forth. Aims: Although living in a large extended family which serves as a social support is common in Pakistan, why we still suffer from anxiety and depression just as often if not more than those in other countries? Method: We checked studies conducted in different localities of Pakistan over the past 10 years to find prevalence values of anxiety and depression. Results: The values of anxiety and depression ranging from 22% to as high as 60% in a given population high rates necessitate the spread of awareness and action against mental health issues. Conclusions: It is a mental disorder that can create numerous concerns in many aspects of the sufferer’s life. The disabling moods of depression can damage a person's marriage, family relationships, friendships, job performance, and health. The longer depression persists, the more widespread the damage. Major depression can result in people shutting themselves off from the support of friends and family or striking out violently by verbally and physically attacking others