Each year, nearly one in ten American adults suffers from depression. This mental illness can contribute to divorce, decreased productivity, increased sick days, and physical illness (among other problems). The largest study ever done on depression has good news, however. |
Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found that 67 percent of patients being treated for depression achieved full remission after completing a series of one to four treatment steps.
For the first step, each patient received the same antidepressant medication. If a patient achieved remission or made substantial improvement in their symptoms, she stayed with that treatment and was monitored closely for a year. If a patient did not experience improvement, they went through the subsequent steps, each involving cognitive therapy or a combination of therapy and medication, with continuous evaluations along the way. Whenever a patient achieved remission or made substantial improvement, they stayed with the treatment that had worked and were monitored closely for another year.
Researchers concluded that remission was most likely to be achieved during the first two steps, and that patients not achieving remission until steps three and four were more likely to experience relapse. Most importantly, they learned that one treatment isn’t right for everyone, but process of trial and error will usually help a patient to find the right fit.
If you’re suffering from depression, seek help from a health care provider who is trained to handle mental illness, and hang in there! If initial treatments don’t work, try their alternatives until you find one that works for you. Even if it takes a little trial and error, the majority of people with depression will get better if they remain persistent.