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The impact of depression on health is equivalent to other chronic diseases like diabetes and arthritis. Many people don’t recognize the health impact though and dismiss the disease. In fact depression can hide alongside other diseases and compound the ability to recover while remaining untreated itself.
During a 12 month study researchers found that as many as 7% of all adults may be affected by major depressive disorder. As many as 1 in 6 people may be affected by this difficult to treat neurological disorder in their lifetime. This new research shows that the condition may require multiple treatment steps for remission to occur. They also explored why developments in deep brain stimulation may indicate that it is the most promising treatment option for the future.
“A crucial implication is that primary care providers should not ignore the presence of depression when patients have a chronic physical disorder,” the paper explained. For instance, depression is implicated in obesity but mostly untreated. The double impact of depression and diabetes leads to an increase oin coronary artery disease. A regards diabetes, there is a 65% increase in risk of the disease in elderly patients who are depressed.
While antidepressants and outpatient therapy are the primary strategy for treating depression, the researchers pointed out that use of antidepressant in the racial and ethnic minority communities remains low compared to other groups.
The researchers encourage primary care physicians to look for signs of depression that might be compounding the problems of another physical ailment. Treatment may include drugs, therapy or other approaches like the deep brain stimulation (as yet to be approved by the FDA). Follow up appointments including and assessment of the depression need to be made and attention paid to changes needed in treatment of the depression.
Source: The Lancet, MedicalNewsToday
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