08 September 2007

Sad and Sick

We have long suspected it, and now a study confirms it:
Depression is more damaging to everyday health than chronic diseases such as angina, arthritis, asthma and diabetes, researchers said on Friday.

And if people are ill with other conditions, depression makes them worse, the researchers found.

"We report the largest population-based worldwide study to our knowledge that explores the effect of depression in comparison with four other chronic diseases on health state," the researchers wrote in the Lancet medical journal.

The most disabling combination was diabetes and depression, the researchers said.

[Reuters, 7 Sept 2007]

The challenge is how you can make the chronically-ill happy. How can you smile when you know you're sick? In my experience, almost all of these patients have a form of depression. The only difference lies in the severity of the depression.

Patch Adams may now be proven correct in his manner of treatment --- if you manage to bring back happiness and hope in the lives of the sick, half of the battle may already be won.

6 reactions:

BatJay said...

if we had a healthcare program in the philippines that provides free medicing and treatment then i think people who are chronically ill will have a depression less life.

it's the hopelessness that kills.

rolly said...

MAs mahirap nga atang gamutin ang depression. Minsan nasa tao na rin ang ikagagaling nya. Especially when you are fighting demons you created yourself. Ano magiging gamot dun?

bayi said...

The biggest problem is of course, that it is natural to feel depressed when one is sick. How could one be "happily sick"?

And the negative vibes compounds the condition. What we can do is to examine what causes the depression. Fear and worry often accompanies sickness. When we are sick, we worry that we can't work and for many this means no income.

On top of not having any income, the patient may have to spend money visiting a doctor. This is where Batjay's observation hits the nail. If only treatment is free and medicine can be dispensed either free or at a nominal rate, the patient would have less worries.

In cases such as diabetes, the patient has to take his medication everyday and the medicine is not cheap. And he has to see his doctor for a check-up regularly. All these translate into money.

The patient also worries if his condition is serious. What if it is cancer? The worries are very real these days. What if it is an incurable and painful condition?

Care-givers are very important. Their cheerful disposition and reassuring manner of dealing with the patients help a lot. Hospitals today are too serious. They should be less drab and more colorful. There should be staff at the hospitals to help patients, especially the older ones and those who are not familiar with the directions or the procedures.

If there are reading materials, perhaps the materials should not be medical journals that tell about the seriousness of each illness, which may worry the patients even more.

Of course, the best would be free medical care.

BabyPink said...

i so agree. mas mahirap kalaban ang depression kaysa ibang sakit kasi kapag depression, parang hindi mo malaman kung anong masakit. tsk, tsk.

blogOloco said...

completely agree on your thoughts about depression. minsan kasi yung iba their depress without knowing exactly the main cause.

life can sometimes be too complicated

Tani said...

Doc Emer, thanks for the advice. I'll make sure I'll sleep well the night before my exam.