According to the NHS those suffering with a chronic illness are two or three times more likely to be depressed than those who are healthy.
With Britain’s rate of depression soaring in its 17 million sufferers of chronic illness, the NHS have established new guidelines which require its staff to screen patients.
The new guidelines suggest that GPs should screen their patients by asking a series of questions about their wellbeing, rather than simply focussing on the physical aspects of the illness.
Research has shown that treating depression in people with chronic health problems can improve their symptoms. If the patient says yes, the doctor should take action and refer him or her to a specialist or, in the event they are trained in mental health, ask further questions.
Antidepressants should be avoided where possible in favour of cognitive behavioural therapy and only be considered for people with severe depression.