Sharing cures depression, needs timely psychiatric and medical attention: Experts

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Chandigarh

7 April 2017

DIVYA AZAD

To commemorate the World Health Day, the Chandigarh Tricity Chapter of Indian Women Network (IWN) of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), organised a session on ‘Depression-Let’s Talk’ at the Department of Microbial Biotechnology, Panjab University, Chandigarh, today.

Dr Reetinder Mohan, Chairwoman, IWN Chandigarh Tricity Chapter & Adviser, The Aroma Group, said, “World Health Day provides us with a unique opportunity take action about a specific health topic of concern for people all over the world. The theme for this year’s World Health Day campaign is Depression. This condition affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. It impacts our ability to carry out everyday tasks, with consequences for families, friends, and even communities, workplaces, and health care systems.”

Dr Hardeep Singh, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Fortis Healthcare, Mohali, said, “According to the World Health Organisation, India has the highest statistics for mental health with the numbers suggesting that 36% of Indians suffer from depression. By 2020, depression will become the second largest killer globally. Identifying depression is very difficult at any stage and there is no common etiology of the disorder. There is no known reason for depression. Major illnesses, life changes, biochemical causes and psychological factors can lead to depression. Even new mothers may experience postpartum depression which may or may not pass after a week or two or else seeking help is a must. It is important to recognise that help is needed and we should be prepared to ask for it or offer it. Anyone appearing sad may not be depressed and we need to fulfill diagnostic criteria first.”

Dr Parneet Sidhu, Clinical Psychologist, Fortis Healthcare, Mohali, said, “Psychotherapy or talk therapy helps in identifying events that contribute to depression. The therapy helps find distorted thought processes and behaviors. Through this therapy, we help the person suffering from depression set realistic life goals and learn skills to alter negative thoughts. Psychotherapy helps people change inaccurate beliefs that people develop over time about themselves. Thinking about everything or nothing, over-generalization and jumping to conclusions fuel depression. Talking to a friend or with well-wishers also called inter-personal therapy is also very effective in curing depression. We need more people to realise that mental illnesses are like any other illness. Just like no one fakes cancer for mere attention, no one fakes depression. Avoiding stress, not consuming alcohol, physical exercise, sleeping well, seeking emotional support from family and friends, balanced diet, can help fight depression.”

Dr Sumedha Banerjee, Clinical Psychologist, Fortis Healthcare Mohali, said, “We need parents telling their children to come to them and talk. We need siblings to open to each other and friends to say ‘talk to me’ instead of just ‘chill and be happy’. Going to a therapist does not mean one is crazy but it means you are just ill. We need people to understand the fact that depression may be cured by talking about it but sometimes it can also be a clinical illness for which we need treatment through medicines as well. Taking anti-depressants will not make one dependent on them or alter how one feels but will help feel better. In case of a problem, we must first go to a family doctor to rule out certain medical conditions and only then go to the nearest psychiatrist or talk things over with a friend. Do not be misled by ill-informed myths.”

 

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