Depression can now be detected with a blood test: Here is why it is a need of the hour


India is one of the top countries to have the majority of the population facing mental health issues. A new study that can help detect depression with just a blood test can now help to work towards the betterment.

Depression detection blood test:Here is why it is a need of the hour. Problems of mental health are often termed as a stigma in India. The country had a National Mental Health Programme, one of the first to be established in 1980. 

According to data collected many years ago by NIMHANS, India had some 100 million people struggling with various psychological problems. 

Mental Health Condition In India 

Mental Health Issue in IndiaThe WHO estimates that the frequency of mental health issues equals 2443 disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) per 100,000 population and a rate of suicide of 21,1 per 100,000 people. They believe that between 2012 and 2030 India will be losing about $1.03 trillion.

As per the Mental Health Issue in India every seventh person is mentally ill in India. There has been extensive research into the epidemiology of mental illnesses, particularly global depression. It is nowadays the world’s leading contributor to the burden of illness and morbidity that can also contribute to suicide if left untreated.

Risk factors related to depression and anxiety disorders involve bullying, childhood sexual assault, aggression towards an abuse victim and lead exposure as a risk factor that can relate to idiopathic growth.

Depression detection blood test can now help you in knowing your mental health status. 

As per Statista Research Department, overall, 20% of youth suffer from psychiatric illnesses. Of its 365 million youth in India, just 7.3 per cent report such issues. Whilst societal stigma related to mental health issues impacts young people, in particular, there is little knowledge about the level of stigma in India among young people.

Definition and characterisation of youth stigma can guide tailored efforts in India and worldwide to counter such stigma. 

Depression can now be detected with a blood test and this will be so helpful for everyone to understand their mental health status and work towards the betterment.

Depression can now be detected with a blood test: New research

Depression detection blood test, yes you heard it right. A new development that measures blood biomarkers related to depressive disorders may result in new approaches to diagnosis and treat depression and bipolar disorder with a blood test. 

Although depression has been recognised for decades and impacts hundreds of millions of individuals globally, conventional diagnosis is also based on psychiatric examinations by physicians, psychologists, and psychiatrists.

Blood test for depression

Blood tests can be used to help with other wellness evaluations, such as determining if signs of depression are caused by other factors, but they are not used in clinical practice to accurately and independently evaluate the disorder. According to recent studies, this may be a viable choice. 

Depression detection blood test

Scientists found 26 biomarkers – detectable and spontaneously occurring signs – in patients’ blood that are associated with the occurrence of personality conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, and mania.

Niculescu has been working on related blood biomarker-based studies to better detect suicidality in patients, identify acute pain, and assess PTSD levels for many years. 

Over four years, the researchers examined hundreds of patients at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis, conducting a series of studies to identify and verify gene expression biomarkers in blood that may be related to mood disorders. The research was published in Molecular Psychiatry.

Depression detection blood test will help curb mental health issue in India. As the country stands with highest population suffering from mental health condition. 

Understanding Mental Health Issue in India

The study conducted by the Foundation How India Perceives Mental Health: TLLF National Survey 2018 revealed that while 87% of the respondents had mental health understanding, 71% had stigma-related terms. 

Just 10 to 12 per cent of these people would seek treatment because of the stigma linked to mental illness, a lack of recognition and insufficient access to professional help. 

This illustrates that, while interconnected, shame and perception are two different topics.

They need to be addressed in parallel to tackle the burden of mental illness in India. It will affect the people with mental health concerns to get the support they need due to the fear of being labelled or judged.

The new development blood test for depression can diagnose the depression level may help India to work towards taking mental health seriously and seeking help at the correct time.  

Also Read: Technology in curbing mental health disorders: Here are 6 vital ways

Mental Health Condition in COVID-19 Survivors 

Experts have said that the pandemic has caused a surge of psychiatric and physiological disorders as one in three patients of Covid 19 reported to have a mental health issue. 

In Covid-19 patients in the first three months of infection, a prior study has observed post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety, depression and insomnia disorders in Covid-19 patients. The new study, therefore, has a much greater sample group and a six-month monitoring cycle. 

Researchers have said that the association of the coronavirus with mental illnesses as Anxiety and Depression was not obvious, but they were 17 and 14 per cent of the most prevalent disease in Covid-19 survivors.

The research was conducted by Oxford University researchers and published in the scientific journal The Lancet Psychiatry.

Depression detection blood test, is a good news for India as it may help the population in knowing the mental state.

Mental Health Cost in India

The report of Lancet reported that a huge number of people in India in 2017 were mentally affected by 197 · 3 million, including 45 · 7 million with depression and 44 · 9 million with anxiety.

In 2019, a total of 381 suicide deaths were registered every day. Until Covid-19 hit it was significant that non-metro municipalities announced a gigantic 367% increase in mental health inquiries last year.

The severe lack of mental health practitioners in India that is about one in 100,000 professionals means most people continue to contact private health professionals. 

The average price of counselling or consulting is about 1,500 per hour in any Indian region, and also charge a fee of 2,000- 4,000 per hour for some practitioners. In other words, you need a weekly treatment appointment costing 4 times the 1,500 a monthly mental consulting. This alone costs an estimated monthly cost of  Rs 8,000.

Funds and Budgets Towards Mental Health 

In the health budget for 2020-21, Rs 2,900 crore was given to the National AIDS and STD Control Program. Far more than Rs 40 crores have been allocated for about all other acute care schemes, including older wellbeing and smoking prevention programs. 

India annually spends 0,05% of the overall budget on mental health, while developing countries pay 4%-5%.

Here is what can be done

India is one of the most depressed countries in India. The mental health condition in the nation requires the Government to take active political measures and allocate resources. 

We must take action to develop and help educate the community/society to reduce the stigma about mental health. It will only happen if we persistently inform society on mental illnesses around the country.

The new development of depression detection blood test may help the Indian population to work towards improving their mental health.


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