Simple Blood Tests Can Help Address Depression Better

Available reports reveal over 264 million people across the world suffer from depression, a clinical disorder. Depression is also one of the key contributors to suicide amongst youth. The scenario in India is equally grim where depression is widely prevalent among people of all age groups. Also, it is an alarming fact that the country has the highest rate of depression in its younger generations. 

Depression unfortunately is often diagnosed late in India, as there is a taboo around mental health in our society. This stops people affected with depression and other mental health issues from seeking medical help. Furthermore, it makes the condition more concerning and complicated. Added to this is the lack of awareness which makes it difficult for people to realise that they suffer from depression. It is time to get rid of inhibitions and seek help from a mental health expert. You can also seek help online on DocGenie.

With the unprecedented progress in medical science, today there are highly effective treatments like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and therapies to cure depression. These medications work extremely well for conditions like behavioural activation and cognitive behavioural therapy. However, it is important to understand that treating depression is less simple than other curative medications.

If you face any mental health issue, consult a psychiatrist or a mental health professional online. Psychiatrists are doctors who treat depression and other mental health and recommend medications. Psychiatrists attached with DocGenie are there to guide you with online mental health counselling and cure. Keeping Covid-19 in mind the DocGenie has included monthly packages that offer continuous proactive care including consultation with a psychiatrist. These packages help our doctor understand a patient better including their lifestyle, heredity risks, etc and refer to specialists if needed.

Issues with antidepressants

While doctors prescribe antidepressants for mild to severe depression, it requires a number of face-to-face psychological sessions to identify the right type of antidepressants for patients. Moreover, it is a difficult and lengthy process to find one which suits the patient most. Also it is a fact that the majority of the commonly known antidepressants don’t work for 70 percent of patients. This makes the process long, painful and time consuming, hence taxing for the patient.

Added to this is the fact that the hit and miss technique makes patients prone to side effects like anxiety, restlessness, insomnia. The situation in turn becomes further complex. This is because doctors fail to identify whether the symptoms are arising from depression or are side effects of meditation.  

The good news is, today you can circumvent the trial and error method. A finger-prick blood test can now predict and guide depression treatment effectively in far less time. Research outcomes suggest a premedication blood test can effectively suggest the right medication.

According to medical practitioners depression can affect your body in numerous ways. Hence, it calls for unique medication depending on individual cases. A blood test helps to better decide on the required antidepressants, enabling patients to recover from clinical depression without trial and error. This method is believed to soon mark an end to the guessing game of antidepressant prescriptions. According to the US Southwestern Medical Center a biological explanation of depression can potentially alter the way depression is treated.

What does the blood test reveal?

Blood has biomarkers in it which act like chemical signals. The levels of biomarkers vary from one individual to another. The different levels of biomarkers help to decide whether the medication would be effective for the patient or not. Levels of C-reactive protein, the most commonly used biomarker of systemic inflammation worldwide provide better understanding on which drugs to prescribe and success rate. In addition to helping those who haven’t got a working medication for them, this method will also increase the rate of cure. It is a known fact that most patients suffering from depression drop the medication course in just three months. Mainly because they lose hope. But a treatment plan including blood test and a biological proof give patients the necessary confidence to continue the medication.

Relation between CRP levels and drug used as found by scientists –

∙        CRP level less than 1mg/L – escitalopram works well

∙        CRP level higher – escitalopram plus bupropion works more efficiently

CRP is a very universal, fundamental, and effective way to measure inflammations. Mental health experts consider it an effective marker for depression.

According to research conducted in recent times, a higher amount of inflammation is not binding for experiencing symptoms of depression. Even a mild range of inflammation can trigger depressive signs. Researchers are currently engaged in finding better ideas of the role of CRPs with other antidepressants and also are seeking other alternatives for CRPs.

What does the blood test reveal?

Doctors also agree that the blood test which facilitates a biological reasoning of depression creates better and advanced chances of curing the illness. Instead of depending solely on guessing medications and questions and answers with patients, blood tests are a far more convincing tool.

Moreover, a major benefit of the test is in finding the type of metabolizing system the patient has. This in turn facilitates a better understanding of the reaction certain drugs can have on a patient’s genes. Additionally, doctors can also predict how the patient will process the drug. If the drug acts too slowly it can cause build-up in the body. Conversely, if it acts too fast, it can get purged without working.

By determining the ways in which a body will react to a certain drug, the blood tests help avoid harmful, ineffective drugs. Moreover, they also help in avoiding the side effects. The ongoing research and studies are expected to strengthen depression treatment, making it more convenient and quicker in days to come. It will also help to circumvent the emotional, physical and mental stress of trial and error methods involved in antidepressants and therapy techniques. These positive outcomes will motivate more and more people to prioritise their mental health and embrace a healthy life.

If you have depression or any other mental health issues, reach out to a mental health counsellor online for help on DocGenie, now!

Also read: Online Psychiatrists in Delhi – Take Care of Your Mental Health

DocGenie is an online telemedicine platform that provides you with quality healthcare from the comfort of your own space. On DocGenie, you can book an online consultation with highly-qualified doctors as well as book lab tests for home collection.