The Long and Winding Road

Treating depression with antidepressants offers benefits down the road

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Feelings of depression can make that long and winding road seem even longer and more winding.

Prior studies on mental health therapies have addressed only the short-term benefits of antidepressants. 

This new study takes a look at  the present status of patients diagnosed with depression eight years ago.

"If depressed, speak with your doctor about combining antidepressants and behavioral therapy for optimal results."

Ian Colman, an epidemiologist in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, using data from the National Population Health Study (a Canadian organization), wanted to examine the long term effects of patients who had used antidepressants as part of their treatment and those that did not use antidepressants.

Eight years later, the patients who took antidepressants were three times less likely to still be depressed than the patients who were not on antidepressants.

Behavioral therapies in addition to antidepressants enhance results as well.  These behavioral therapies include psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Colman encourages people with depression to continue taking their medications until their symptoms are completely eradicated. 

Often, he informs, once a patient feels better on medications, they will choose to quit taking their medicine and going to their therapies. 

For the long term benefit of antidepressants to happen, one must take care of themselves until thoroughly asymptomatic.

A concerning trend in mental health care: 50 percent of depressed people are not addressing it. Either they don't recognize symptoms,are too embarrassed to seek treatment, or don't want to address it.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 8, 2011
Last Updated:
April 11, 2011