Rebecca Slack and Robert Chaplin argue that all doctors, not just psychiatrists, have a part to play
- By: Rebecca Slack, Robert Chaplin
We've all heard the statistic that one in five of us will have depression at some time in our lives, but few of us will have been moved to act upon it either for patients or ourselves. Depression has traditionally been considered to be the domain of psychiatrists and primary care doctors, which has led to patients' management tending to become confined to these areas. But depression is seen in all specialties.
Left undiagnosed, depression can worsen the prognosis of almost all conditions. So to provide the best care for patients, it is essential for all junior doctors to be equipped with the skills to recognise, assess, and treat depression.
Depression is an internationally recognised disease. That it is for the fourth greatest contributor to the global burden of disease shows its cross cultural importance.1 The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020 depression will have risen to first place,