Your story resonates with me because I have seen depression in close quarters as a caregiver. Depression belongs to the realm of inner experience. Its symptoms and consequences are subjective. What a depressed person is undergoing, only they can feel. Nobody else can really understand what’s happening in the brain of depressed people.

Psychiatry has saved lives and is the last refuge of hope for the depressed. But I think Psychiatry is still stuck in the past. This is one area of medicine that stubbornly refuses to change its tools and diagnostic protocols. What does a psychiatrist treat? A depressed person’s mind? Can a psychiatrist ‘see” a person’s mind? A psychiatrist talks to the patient and arrives at a diagnosis purely based on what the patient has told. Sure, she has the manual which has classified disorders. Because the diagnosis is not backed by physical tests, the possibility of the wrong diagnosis is high. For instance, a depressive patient can be classified as bipolar based on some episodes. Once the label is stuck, it’s difficult to convince other doctors that the diagnosis could be wrong.

If depression is caused by changes in the brain, for God’s sake look at the brain and see the physical changes. The brains of depressed people are different from others. They say the brain is the seat of the mind. Then how can anybody treat the mind without looking at the brain?

Why is there no research on brain scans for treating depression? Is it because anti-depressants will go out of the market?

“ It takes 50 years to get a bad idea out of medicine, and 100 years a right one into medicine”.

( John Hughlings Jackson, British neurologist)

Retired banker living in India. Avid reader. Writing is a tonic that enhances my well-being. Believe in ethical living and sustainable development.

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