Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Does Increase in Antidepressant Use Indicate Depression is Being More Effectively Treated?


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There is one big thing I'm not hearing in all the discussions about the 75% increase in antidepressant use from 1996 to 2005. What if this indicates that depression is being more effectively treated than it was before?

It does concern me that fewer people are seeking out psychotherapy for treatment of their depression. I believe effective psychotherapy is an essential part of a depression treatment plan. However, for many people depression involves a chemical imbalance, which requires treatment with medication in addition to other therapies.

Although the study found there was no increase in the number of people being diagnosed with depression, it seems to me that these numbers could be telling us that patients are more informed about their medication options and physicians are more comfortable trying to treat those issues. After all, many depressed patients are completely resistant to seeing other doctors and sharing their stories, so it only stands to reason that primary care physicians and internists might feel they are the only opportunity that patient has to receive treatment.

Sources:
Antidepressant Use in U.S. Almost Doubled
Antidepressant Use Up 75 Percent
Antidepressant Use Up, Psychotherapy Use Down

Related Posts:
Is FDA's Serotonin Syndrome Alert Doing More Harm Than Good?
FDA Approves NeuroStar TMS Therapy for Depression
Permission to Feel Crummy
SSRIs Pose Little Risk to Unborn

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.