WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
Depression is a common psychiatric condition affecting a person’s mood. Studies estimate that about 10-15% of men and 20-25% of women will suffer from depression at some point in their lifetime. It is also estimated that about 10% patients attending a general practitioner’s clinic suffer from depression. This may go up to 25% in patients suffering from chronic physical illnesses such as diabetes, Cancer.
Depression is easy to diagnose and treat. In many western countries, the family doctor treats depression initially. The awareness of depression among Indian public and doctors is low and many depressed patients do not get the help they need. Stigma attached to visiting a psychiatrist compounds the problem further. Depression mainly affects a person’s quality of life and productivity. Suicide rates are about 10 times higher in depressed patients when compared to normal population.