Disorders and Treatment
- Mental Illness
- Bipolar Disorder
- Mood Disorders
- Borderline Personality
- Mental Health Diagnosis
- Mental Health Treatments
- Alternative Meds
- Case Studies
A recent special issue in Science Magazine focused on different aspects of depression, including its causes and treatment. In the introduction, Defeating the Dementors, Paul Stern talks about the devastating aspects of depression, not only for the people directly affected but for their family and friends. Despite the improved treatment options and recognition of depression's impact, cases have been rising in recent decades. The issue provide fascinating new perspectives on depression and how it can be treated.
The closing editorial by Hans-Ulrich Wittchen provides a sobering overview on the burden of mood disorders, whether individally, economically, or on society as a whole. While the prevalence of mood disorders has remained steady at approximately ten percent of the population over the past ten years in much of Europe, the financial costs are harder to estimate than for diseases such as cancer or heart disease. Along with the direct costs of diagnosis and treatment, there are also the indirect costs including workdays lost to illness, unemployment, long-term disability, etc. Though the challenges of dealing with mood disorders are immense, major shifts are underway in public health policy and research.
One example that Dr. Wittchen provides is the ROAMER project funded by the European Commission. Short for "Roadmap for Mental Health in Europe", the project brings together mental health researchers across Europe in a series of events and workshops at 14 participating institutions including eminent universities such as the King's College London, the Central Institute of Mental Health and the London School of Economics. The Roamer project is currently preparing a Research Roadmap for the European Union to help combat the problems that mood disorder patients and their families often face.
This special issue is likely required reading for mental health professionals and public health workers. Check it out yourself and let me know what you think.
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