Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Practice A Patient’s Journey

Through the wasteland: chronic depression

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 11 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d93

Rapid Response:

Depression is treatable condition: Lesson for physicians

The first-hand account by a patient with chronic depression has many
lessons to teach readers.

Firstly, there is a serious need to look
towards the pathetic state of mental hospitals throughout world.
Governments should wakeup and enhance their budgetary provisions for
improving infrastructure of these hospitals.

Secondly, despite efforts of
awareness and sensitization programmes, depression is under-diagnosed and
under-treated. Most physicians either do not pick up or treat
depression or consider it to be the job of psychiatrists.

Lastly, there is a wide
range of modalities available for treatment of depression, including
antidepressants and psychological treatments.

I highly appreciate that the BMJ has picked up the case of chronic depression, but it
may also lead to divergent messages to its readers. Success stories by an esteemed journal have a positive impact on doctors and
motivate them in picking up and treating depression.

Competing interests: No competing interests

18 April 2011
Om Prakash
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Institute of Human Behaviour & Allied Sciences (IHBAS), New Delhi, INDIA