My name is Andrew. I am a young Psychiatrist who has been doing a PhD at University of London, since 2012. I would like to briefly explain my project, which has been my passion and motivation for a long time ago.
Some people believe that we need better treatments for depression; others, like me, believe that we need better diagnoses.
The rate of "depression" has been increasing and the treatment that we have until now have not shown such promising results. We could therefore come to conclusion that, in terms of mental health, we may be doing something wrong.
In my opinion, the problem may stem from the fact that we call depression any problem a patient cannot cope with or which makes them suffer. In fact, many of these patients could have other illnesses-such as stress related disorders -which would benefit more from support, counceling or psychoteraphy rather than the simple and sometimes inefficacious solution that the prescription of psychotropics can be. Believing in a medical solution to these illnesses, however, means psychiatrist are potentially over-prescribing medication.
You can imagine that this is not easy to accept for many of my collegues and even some patients. Psychiatrist sometimes prefer to prescribe medication rather than deal with others' problems. Additionally, it may be hard for some patients to accept they are under stress.
In my PhD study I would like to demostrate that we are misdiagnosing a lot of patients. Statisticians say that more than 20% of the people that we label with depression do not really have this. This will be done by measuring cortisol, the hormone of stress and depression, in 2 novel specimens (nails and hair), to re-evaluate the subcategories of depression.
Sadly I am running against time. The deadline for submission of this project will be by the end of next year and we need more than 120 patients ! The neurobiological analysis of hair, nail and saliva samples is also very expensive.
Getting extra funding has beeb harder than usual; you can imagine that my project is not the pharmaceutical industry.
This is my project my fight, and I know from clinical expiernece and my knowledge that the results will, most likely, show what I describe. I just need your help to be able to finish this project.
Help me stop the over-prescription of medication to patients with depression.
Thank you very much,