Depression in lebanon

Depression is a mood disorder in which the person feels that all his life is black. Depression is not just a reaction to life’s negative events: it is a disease of the brain that equally affects the body. Depression can be deadly through cardiovascular events or suicide. For more information call us at:961-3-210978

Depression in lebanon

Dr. Abboud Assaf - Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Depression is not simple sadness. Furthermore, not every depressed individual feels sad. He may have lost his "appetite" for life (a fact also known as anhedonia). I have been asked the following question hundreds of times in Lebanon and abroad:"what is depression? How do you scientifically define it? Is there a blood test that can tell me if I am depressed? What about a brain MRI? What do you think doctor?" I shall try in the next few lines to answer these questions.

First of all, let me begin by telling you that depression is a brain disease. This may come as a shock for many who think that depression is a reaction to some life events and do not classify it in the "disease" category. Depression is a very complex neurobiological illness that affects not only your brain but also your body. This should seem very shocking. The body also? Well this has been proven in many studies that have focused on the pathophysiology of depression. Don't you have a relative or a friend that was experiencing pain in his body that doctors couldn't find an explanation for despite numerous blood tests and body imaging, till one of the physicians told him "it is psychological"? Well this is what i am talking about. Unexplained bodily pains can occur in as much as 43% of depressed in individuals. Remember that depression hurts ...

Moreover, depression is a complex syndrome with symptoms that affect not only emotions, but also cognition, neurovegetative functions (appetite, sleep and energy levels) and socioprofessional functioning. According to studies in the USA, depression costs 83 billion dollars per year, with 62% of the cost being related to the impact of the disease on the professional performance of the patients.

Till now, depression is a clinical diagnosis and no paraclinical test is able to clearly differentiate depressed from non depressed individuals, even though science is very close to doing so. The search for biomarkers of depression (tests that allow to diagnose the illness) has dramatically evolved in the last few years and a recent discovery of a test of 12 combined biomarkers has allowed to correctly diagnose depression with a sensitivity of 81% and a specificity of 91%. This test is still in the early phases of development but we may be at the dawn of a new era...

This is what a typical depressed patient looks like : woman in her thirties (twice a many women than men suffer from depression), thin, not eating well, having lost weight, sleeps very poorly, fatigued all the time, tears in her eyes, sad, not enjoying anything anymore, memory problems, concentration difficulties, problems at home and at work, preferring to stay alone in her room, avoiding friends, feeling guilt, remorse and failure, seeing all in black, worthless, hopeless, and wanting to die... But remember that depression can take a totally different shape. Anyway, the best person qualified to tell you if have depression is a psychiatrist.

If you see all in black, consult us...



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