Global Medical Education’s Founder Prakash Masand, MD, Says that Depression is Still Under Diagnosed Today

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Prakash Masand, MD, is former consulting professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University, a New York City psychiatrist, and founder and CEO of Global Medical Education (GME), says that depression is still under diagnosed today, which can have devastating consequences to these individuals, their families, and society as a whole. As part of Mental Illness Week, he offers the facts below about depression in an effort to help shed light on this debilitating illness.

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Global Medical Education is is a free online medical education resource that provides timely, unbiased, evidence-based medical education and online medical information from the world’s leading experts

"Only 20% of Americans with depression receive evidence-based treatments. The lack of appropriate care can have devastating consequences to these individuals, their families, and society as a whole" - Prakash Masand, MD

Prakash Masand, MD, Founder and CEO of Global Medical Education, offers his top 10 list of facts that everyone should know about depression:

1.    There’s more to depression than just feeling blue. Symptoms include: psychomotor activity changes, trouble sleeping, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, feelings of guilt or hopelessness, decreased energy, trouble concentrating, appetite changes, and some people have suicidal thoughts or attempts. (1)

2.    One in six people will develop major depression in their lifetime. Major depression affects 121 million people worldwide. Two out of three individuals with depression do not receive adequate treatment. (2)

3.    Depressed individuals are five times more likely to commit suicide and 35,000 people commit suicide each year due to depression. (3)

4.    Depression doesn’t have to stop you from living if you get help. Some very successful people have had depression including: Billy Joel, Oprah Winfrey, Brad Pitt, J.K. Rowling, Buzz Aldrin, Calvin Coolidge, Eric Clapton, Terry Bradshaw and more.

5.    Depression is the leading cause of medical disability for people ages 14 to 44. On average, people who suffer from depression can lose $10,400 per year in income by age 50. (3)

6.    One out of 10 new mothers will develop post-partum depression. This is by no means a character flaw or weakness. Symptoms of depression or the “Baby blues” can occur in many women, but if they don’t dissipate after two weeks, it could be post-partum depression and you should seek treatment immediately. (4)

7.    Women are twice as likely to develop depression as men, and although depression can strike at any age, the average age of onset is 32. (5)

8.    Patients with depression are more likely to have heart attacks and strokes compared to non-depressed individuals. If you develop depression after a heart attack, you are four times more likely to die with the greatest risk being in the first six months. (6)

9.    One out of 10 adolescents will have a depressive disorder by the age of 18. Compared to adults, children with depression may be more likely to present with temper tantrums, somatic complaints, social withdrawal and mood lability. (7)

10.    The initial antidepressant leads to remission in only one out of three patients with depression. SSRI and SNRI medications take time to work, and a 10 to 12 week trial is necessary to achieve remission. Cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy are as efficacious as antidepressants in mild to moderate depression. (8)

About Global Medical Education
Global Medical Education is a free online medical education resource that provides timely, unbiased, evidence-based medical education and online medical information from the world's leading experts to health care professionals around the world.

References:
1. DSM-5
2. NIMH website: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/1mdd_adult.shtml
3. Weissman MM et al. Prevalence of suicide ideation and suicide attempts in nine countries. Psychological Medicine, 1999, 29, 9–17
4. APA website: http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/depression/postpartum.aspx
5. Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression/art-20047725
6. AHA journal / website: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/118/17/1768.long
7. APA Psychnet: http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1993-25780-001
8. Trivedi MH. Evaluation of outcomes with citalopram for depression using measurement-based care in STAR*D: implications for clinical practice. Am J Psychiatry. 2006 Jan;163(1):28-40.

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Angela Masand
@GlobalMedEd
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