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Depression: Skills or Pills? by Dr. Soumyajit Sanyal

Depression: Skills or Pills? | MHT Bytes with Dr.Soumyajit Sanyal

Depression is a mental illness that can be treated not just alone with medications but also through cognitive skills learned in therapy. It is a syndrome that can also cost a financial crisis due to a loss in productivity. Research has proven that depression is not only a medical or biological condition but also a social one. Experiences such as loneliness, betrayals, humiliations, rejections, failures can be some of the major social contributing factors. Addressing when medication is right and when therapy is required in this MHT Conversation can educate people more about depression and it’s treatment. 

About Dr. Soumyajit Sanyal

Dr. Soumyajit Sanyal

Dr.Soumyajit Sanyal is practising psychiatrist from India. He was born in Delhi and pursued his M.D in Psychiatry from the same. He specialises in Geriatric Psychiatry. In this MHT Conversation, Dr.Sanyal speaks of Depression with a focus on treatment interventions: medications and therapy. As a psychiatrist from India, he feels there is a lack of awareness as well as stigma when it comes to approaching medication based treatment for depression. 

Watch the full video: Depression: Skills or Pills? By Dr. Soumyajit Sanyal | MHT Conversation

Depression: Skills or Pills? | MHT Conversation with Dr.Soumyajit Sanyal

Dr. Soumyajit Sanyal, an expert in the field of mental health, addresses depression in this MHT Conversation as a syndrome. He briefly explains the difference between sadness and depression as he mentions the core symptoms experienced by a person diagnosed with depression. 

He further tells the viewers the role of antidepressants in the treatment of depression. The role of therapy in depression is also talked about in detail at this MHT Conversation. Dr.Sanyal duly emphasizes on the research-based evidence of both: medication and therapy, for best treatment results for depression. Furthermore, the role of alternative interventions such as aromatherapy, exercise and yoga in depression is also picked up. 

What is Depression?

Depression is one of the mood disorders. The common symptoms of depression are loss of interest in day-to-day activities, persistent sadness or depressed mood, changes in sleep, changes in appetite and/or weight and low energy. For diagnosing depression, these symptoms should be persistent for a minimum of 2 weeks. Research has shown that women are twice as likely to experience depression than men. 

Types of Depression

  1. Persistent Depressive Disorder/ Dysthymia– The symptoms of depressive mood are severe and persist or at least 2 years. A person with this diagnosis experiences full blown episodes of depression often.
  2. Seasonal Depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder)– The imbalances of biochemicals in the brain can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. This imbalance usually occurs during winter or fall when there is short daylight hours and less sunlight. The symptoms of changes in mood can seriously interfere in daily functioning of the individual. 
  3. Psychotic Depression– Occurence of symptoms of depression along with hallucination, delusion is called psychotic depression. A depressive theme of hallucination or delusion such as guilt or illness can be observed in psychotic depression. 
  4. Bipolar Depression– The depressive phase experienced in bipolar disorder is called bipolar depression. Experiencing extreme low moods is the most prominent symptom of bipolar depression. 
  5. Postpartum Depression– Symptoms of extreme sadness, exhaustion and anxiety after a woman gives birth to a child is called postpartum depression. The disorder causes extreme difficulty for the mother to carry activities for the child and herself. Unlike “baby blues” the symptoms of postpartum depression do not recede after 2 weeks of delivery.

Treatment & Therapy

Depression can be treated with the help of medication, psychological therapy or both. 

Medication– Antidepressants are used for treating depression and its symptoms such as mood, sleep, concentration and also appetite. 

Therapy– Psychotherapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, problem-solving therapy has shown effective results in the treatment of depression.

Other modes of treatment are brain stimulation therapies. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) are some brain stimulation techniques used for depression when medications cannot be used safely or have been treatment-resistant to medications.

About MHT Conversation

MHT Conversations has been conceptualized with the aim to create a safe place for our speakers that is free of any kind of judgements. It is an online space where anybody from the mental health community or otherwise can come together and converse about topics that are relevant to the field of mental health. Ranging from personal anecdotes, struggles with mental illness, surviving through different low points in one’s life to experts giving their views on different therapies, disorders and even stigma related to the field, MHT Conversations includes it all and beyond. 

These conversations are recorded at the time convenient to the speaker/s and published on the website only after obtaining appropriate consent. Mental Health Today takes pride in being an all-inclusive platform and invites all individuals, regardless of their caste, race, colour, sexual orientation, religion or gender to come on board MHT Conversations and help us in building an all-accepting community.

The recordings of MHT Conversations, along with short clips from the same, are also streamed on all of the MHT India’s social media platforms:

Subscribe to MHT India and become a part of the community. Get weekly updates on new MHT Blogs, MHT Podcasts and MHT Webinars from Mental Health Today. If you are seeking the help of a professional, explore the MHT Directory and find an expert can support your needs and requirements. Explore various products at MHT Store that can assist you to overcome your emotional or psychological or mental health problems.

Team MHT India hopes you found this conversation helpful and informative. Stay tuned for more such content coming up. Kindly like, share and subscribe to MHT India’s social media handles. If you wish to join as a speaker for our next conversation, kindly send us an email at:


2 thoughts on “Depression: Skills or Pills? by Dr. Soumyajit Sanyal”

  1. Pingback: Leading a life with recurring depressive disorder | Ms. Shalini Das | Podcast | MHT India

  2. Pingback: MHT Podcasts | Depression; A Survivor’s Story by Anthea Pinto | Mental Health Today

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