New research that may finally yield a blood test for depression isn't just good news for frustrated doctors.
It could finally put depression on the same scale as diabetes, heart disease, and other apparent physical ailments.
It could finally end the jokes.
Because while the toughest part of dealing with depression is the disease's hold on the body, the still present flippancy in society toward the ailment is a close second.
With no gold standard test for the disease, it's been easily written off as "all in your head" (well, technically ...) or a failure to "buck up."
When the pancreas fails, there's no question that you deserve a pill to help with insulin production. Not so when the serotonin levels in your brain are off-kilter.
In the depressive population -- 18.8 million American adults or about 9.5 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older -- studies estimate more than 54 percent still view the disease as a weakness.
Do you look at a high cholesterol level on a lab report as a weakness? At a high glucose level on a blood test? At a low iron level?
Didn't think so.
Scientists, let's speed this one up. We could turn that 18.8 million to cured in no time.
Image via AlishaV/Flickr