Calls for melancholia to be listed as 'mental illness'

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London, March 18 (ANI): Psychiatrists are urging authorities to list melancholia as a distinct disease of the mind in the 2013 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Gordon Parker, a professor of psychiatry at the University of NSW and director of the Black Dog Institute in Sydney, is calling on fellow experts from across the globe to help restore the ancient condition to the list after it was scrapped from the psychiatrists' diagnostic manual for mental illness in 1980.

Parker warned against the treatment of melancholic patients with psychotherapy or counselling, which, he said, could fall short of deliverance and also led to higher rates of suicide.

"We believe that melancholia is a separate diagnosis, a separate condition that requires quite different treatment to most of the other depressive conditions that are able to be diagnosed," The Telegraph quoted him as telling the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

He added: "At the moment we feel that many treatments are just being given in a universal, non-specific way. We need a more rational model. What that will actually do to the sales of antidepressants is, I think, predictable, but not likely to be an expansion."

But the move has left critics less than impressed, with some citing lack of enough evidence as a major issue with the idea.

Ian Hickie, the executive director of the Brain and Mind Institute, told the ABC: "It's an old idea that at the end of the day hasn't really stood up against other biological markers to show us different causes of depression and the ability of providing different treatments." (ANI)

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