A growing number of people are struggling with depression, as seen in recent news stories of suicide and even attempted murders.
As part of efforts to tackle this problem, the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Korea Health Promotion Foundation recently released a checklist to help people self-evaluate whether they’re suffering from depression or anxiety.
The most common symptoms include feeling low or listless, and lacking interest in or being unable to enjoy most activities for two weeks or more.
Psychiatrists say people’s capacity to cope with depression varies, but advise those who, after a self-assessment, believe they are moderately or seriously depressed to consult a psychiatrist, seek advice from a local mental healthcare professional, or call the helpline at 1577-0199.
To tackle depression, the World Health Organization recommends sharing your feelings with someone you trust, regular exercise — even just short walks — and regular contact with friends and family.
According to a survey conducted by the ministry in 2016, lifetime prevalence of mental illness among Koreans was 5 percent, with 610,000 people reporting suffering from depression annually.