April 24, 2014
   
Add to Google
Mild Depression Should Not be Left Untreated, Researchers Say
email a friend print


New years are for fresh starts and self improvement. Here are some findings to take with you into 2013. More >

Follow us on Twitter. Become a fan on Facebook. Receive updates via E-mail and SMS:







Would you like to ask our staff a question? >
Join the discussion and leave a comment on this article >

Mild Depression Should Not be Left Untreated, Researchers Say

 

A new study in the February issue of Psychiatric Services shows that people who do not seek treatment for symptoms of mild depression considerably increase their odds of developing full−blown depression. The researchers say that their findings show that the early signs of depression should never be overlooked or regarded as “benign.”

The research team led by Myrna M. Weissman at Columbia University followed 348 participants who suffered from the early symptoms of depression, as diagnosed by their own doctors. None had received treatment in the year prior to the study’s outset.

There was also a correlation between being mildly depressed at the study's outset and having problems with alcohol or drugs by the study''s end.

Weissman and her team found that a large portion – 62% – of the participants had developed major depression at the time of the four−year follow−up. Even more, these participants were six times as likely to have been admitted to a psychiatric emergency room as participants not suffering from depression. The researchers also say that the emotional and physical health, as well as overall social functioning, of the depressed patients was significantly poorer than that of controls at follow−up. Finally, there was also a correlation between being mildly depressed at the study’s outset and having problems with alcohol or drugs by the study’s end.

Weissman says, in a news release from the American Psychological Association, that the study’s “findings suggest that mildly depressed, untreated patients do not have a benign course of illness.”

She adds that the “findings come in the wake of intensive focus by the media on a study reported in January, which showed that depressed patients with mild symptoms did not do any better with medication than with placebo, suggesting that patients with mild depression don't need treatment. Of course, patients in a clinical trial are receiving a considerable amount of attention and are not untreated."

People who believe they may be depressed – even mildly – should not ignore the symptoms. Seeking the help of one’s doctor, who can be of assistance in evaluating symptoms and making decisions about an appropriate course of treatment, is always a good first step.

March 16, 2010






 
 
Add Comment
NOTE: We regret that we cannot answer personal medical questions.

Name


Comment

Characters remaining:



Readers Comments
No comments have been made











This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.





The Doctor Will See You Now   |   LEGAL RESTRICTIONS AND TERMS OF USE OF THIS SITE. USE OF THIS SITE IS YOUR AGREEMENT TO THESE TERMS.
Copyright 2014 interMDnet Corporation. All rights reserved.
About Us | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | System Requirements