Hospital notes increase in depressed patients-A A +A
Thursday, October 11, 2012
A PSYCHIATRIST at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) recently reported an increasing trend of patients being diagnosed with depression.
Dr. Gwendolyn Cayad claimed some 1,316 patients have been diagnosed by BGHMC with depression last year and this trend is growing annually.
Cayad said most of these patients are women, while majority of the patients, range from 15 to 44 years old.
Cayad claimed that although depression is caused by different factors, she said depression occurs differently on persons as some people are more tolerant to problems or stress than others.
Depression is often termed as a prolonged condition of mental disturbance, typically associated with lack of energy, and difficulty in maintaining concentration or interest in life.
Among the common signs and symptoms of depression are: feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, loss of interest in daily activities, appetite or weight changes, sleep changes, anger or irritability, loss of energy, self-loathing, reckless behavior, concentration problems and unexplained aches and pains.
What remains as a hindrance to curing depression, according to Cayad, is the continuing stigma given to those seeking the help of physicians in handling depression as it is often perceived as a weakness by society.
She said depression if left untreated could become worse as it already affects work and the current mindset of a person. Depressed teenagers, she said, often lead them to drop out in school, underperform or even commit suicides.
She added a depression is also widely linked to substance and alcohol abuse.
The only way to address the situation, she stressed, are for relatives, school authorities, peers and the patient’s community to remain as a source of strength during their bouts with the mental illness.
A common notion of people in treating depression is it is a costly disease. But she claimed this isn’t true as government hospitals such as the BGHMC have already been giving minimal fee of P20 for consultation of persons undergoing depression. Medications for the illness, she emphasized, has also decreased.
She admitted lack of awareness also remains a problem for most people while the state of mental health among other ailments are often neglected and disregarded by people and even the government.
This year, as part of the National Mental Health Month, the Department of Helath and other government agencies are taking the lead role in improving the mental health of Filipinos with the 1st Philippine Mental Health Conference on October 18 in Manila. But health authorities such as Dr. Cayad believe this is just an initial step for an illness often neglected and sidetracked by society. (JM Agreda)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 11, 2012.