The year 2020 would see depression as the second biggest disease among Jammuites after heart ailments. This was stated by Dr Manu Arora , consultant psychiatrist at Government Medical College, who believes in this assertion on the basis of data collected by him through the increased number of patients visiting his Out Patient Department (OPD) daily at Psychiatrist Hospital, Ambphalla.
"Nearly 125-150 patients daily visit our OPD with different disability diseases, out of which 30% have reported to be suffering from depression, which is a cause of concern," Dr Arora told Hindustan Times.
He added that despite other diseases, which show prominent medical signs to qualify for illness, depression, on the contrary is most misunderstood one, which is just warded off by the victim as sadness.
It is brain hormonal disorder of 'serotonin', which if treated medically at initial stages can immediately revert back the patient to normal behaviour. He added that patients reaching his hospital generally are at advanced stage of depression, most of who have to be admitted in-patients department for recovery.
Dr Arora, while providing the alarming statistics, said the growing figure amply indicates that till 2020, the disease would be the second largest illness among the Jammuites, if immediate steps are not taken to check it.
The percentage of affect on males is 5%-6% comparatively lower than females who are more prone at 15%-16%. Defining depression as the illness, he elaborated that it is a medical disease, which impacts on the human brain leading to constant disturbance followed by low mood, lack of sleep, appetite and weight, death wishes and suicidal ideations.
"The main reason of people not reaching the doctors in such cases is their shyness to reveal their transitory moods to the psychiatrist and only are brought at advanced stages, which need great efforts for their recuperation," said Dr Arora, adding that many cases turn hopeless as people believe more in "jadu-tona" then on doctors.
"Only Psychiatrist Hospital, Ambphalla, with just two qualified doctors at the disposal are the total team which is looking after the whole province, which in no case is sufficient to cater to the needs," he said, adding that though there are some offshoots of the department at Kathua, Udhampur and Reasi, but the entire Jammu province is dependent on Ambphalla hospital only.
"If properly treated , nearly 90% patients can come back from the hallucinations and lead a normal life," said Dr Arora.