The World Health Organisation (WHO) considers depression as becoming the second most common cause of morbidity by 2020. It affects various aspects of the individuals life- social, work, the prospects to work, the carers and friends around the sufferer and thus lowers the overall quality of life. In addition, it is also linked with an unfortunate mode of death i.e. Suicide amongst other causes of suicide.

But if screened early, it can be treated early. There have been advances in the modalities of treatment of depression including pharmacological i.e. medications, psychological therapies. More recently, there are non- invasive neuromodulation treatments like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to help with depression and other psychiatric & neurological disorders. This new treatment is a major step towards the use of other non-invasive techniques in the future before one needs to consider ECT (Electric Convulsive Therapy). ECT brings up all sorts of debates but as a practicing Consultant Psychiatrist, I am of the opinion that it remains an efficient treatment when considered at the right time of depression treatment.

So if we can pick it up early, the prognosis is better. Here’s a tool to help you screen for depression and seek help early.

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