What Is Major Depression?

Major depression is one of the commonest psychiatric illnesses globally. There is no test for depression and the diagnosis is based on a good history and examination. The signs and symptoms of clinical depression are often missed or explained away. One example is postpartum depression that occurs in one out of 10 pregnant mothers and is often undiagnosed bipolar depression.

There is no cure for depression but very effective treatments are available with a good evidence base. The treatments for depression include medications like SSRIs or SNRIs or other new generation antidepressants as well as augmentation therapies. For treatment resistant cases ECT, rTMS, VNS and DBS are often helpful. Finally there are several proven therapies that help patients with depression. These include cognitive behavior therapy, and interpersonal therapy.

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