There’s an incredible array of conflicting information on the subject of depression – and the situation isn’t helping anyone.
Treating symptoms is an expensive, ineffective, and sometimes dangerous, waste of time. No one would think putting a band-aid on a broken leg is an appropriate treatment. Yet in the real world, the equivalent happens – and not just to folks with depressive symptoms. It’s likely happened to you, and most of the people you know, at one time or another. Treating symptoms without looking further for causes happens far too much.
Magnesium deficiency, for example, isn’t always checked for. A lack of this essential mineral can present in many ways. One symptom of not enough is migraine. The head-aches are often controlled with pharmaceuticals. But, the underlying magnesium deficiency, left undetected, can lead to other difficulties, some very serious. And the unnecessary migraine medications may have side-effects, aside from the expense. This particular error isn’t as common as it used to be, but failing to check beyond symptoms is inexcusable.
Hope Matters – A Lot
The claim that depression is an illness, or even a disease in itself – with some even going as far as to say there’s no cure – is widespread. The possibilities of it being a symptom are left out completely. Clients are misinformed, and the condition misrepresented. To pronounce depression incurable is not just unreasonably hasty and inaccurate, it’s downright destructive. No one has no right to mislead and take away hope.
Similar to the magnesium deficiency example, people are prescribed medication to treat what’s secondary to the actual cause. This often results in negative outcomes. Failure to identify and treat underlying conditions adds more difficulty that may range from unnecessary distress, illness, and even death.
A New Approach to Medical Quality and Accountability – and a Helpful List of Underlying Causes of Depression
A company called Healthgrades* offers this very informative run down of medical conditions related to depressive symptoms. There are more causes than listed here – ones not related to biology – but it’s a great start.
It’s also brings to the fore another pressing consumer need – for qualified, accessible, oversight of medical institutions and practitioners. The company specializes in rating hospitals and physicians. They provide consultation to help medical establishments improve treatment and services as well as offering consumers advice on the quality of medical services available. While Healthgrades only operates in the US, in time either they, or new companies, will hopefully expand. There are a lot of gaps to fill.
But for now, Healthgrades’ over-view of underlying causes of depressive symptoms is an invaluable resource, and is available here for everyone.
You can find their home page here for other services and information and here is Wikipedia’s review of the company.
*I’m not affiliated in any way with Healthgrades.