Depression is a major problem and meds don’t always work
Take a look around. For every 100 people you see over the age of 12, at least 10 of them are taking medication for depression, according to the National Institutes of Health. And about one-third of those on medication don’t find relief from their symptoms, according to Scott T. Aaronson, MD, the director of clinical research programs for Sheppard Pratt Health System and lead author of a recent major study on people with chronic, treatment-resistant depression.
Of those who do find relief initially (also known as “remission”), another third will experience “tolerance,” which might be better known by its less technical term, “poop-out,” according to Shanthi Mogali, MD, a double board-certified physician in General and Addiction Psychiatry and Director of Psychiatry at Mountainside Treatment Center with a specialty in treating patients with depression.
Luckily there are a lot of options, and more in the pipeline all the time. In the meantime, it’s important to understand what’s really going on.
Here’s how to tell the difference between clinical depression and everyday sadness.
Science is still trying to figure out what’s what
Over the past two decades, scientific evidence has been mounting that there is an essential difficulty in demonstrating differences among various antidepressant treatments and placebos in controlled clinical trials. This had led to increasing uncertainty about the therapeutic benefits of antidepressant medications. But it has also led to additional research and increased understanding as to why it is difficult to reproduce the results of experiments geared to demonstrating the efficacy of various treatments.
Here are some ways to help a friend or loved one suffering from depression.