Ask an Expert: Depression Treatments
< Ask an Expert: All Topics
- Is depression treatable? [0:34]
- How well do antidepressants work? [1:01]
- What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)? How does it compare to psychotherapy? [1:05]
- How effective is Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)? [1:06]
Learn more about depression treatments:
Depression Fact Sheet: English version (PDF, 748k) Spanish version (PDF, 796k)
National Institute of Mental Health "Finding Help": nimh.nih.gov/ health/ topics/ getting-help-locate-services/
NAMI page on finding support: nami.org/ Template.cfm?section=Find_Support
Dr.Peter Kramer, author of Listening to Prozac, blog: blogs.psychologytoday.com/ blog/ in-practice
How well do antidepressants work?
DR. RICHARD FRIEDMAN: When you give an antidepressant to someone the first time, about 30% of the time, you're going to achieve what we call full remission. Okay? That means you wipe out the symptoms entirely. In another 30%, you're gonna get a partial response, meaning at least 50% better. So if you add it all up together, with an antidepressant, typical response,about 60% of people with the first antidepressant are gonna have a clinically meaningful response, meaning 50% or more. So that leaves 40% that didn't do well. So then how many more trials is it gonna take to catch them and get them better? And it can vary, you know, 'cause in those 40% who are left from the first treatment, there are some people there who will go on to have three or four or five more trials before they find the right treatment, and some who will hit it on the next trial.