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Trying to hide or ignore depression won’t make it go away; in fact, it will only make it worse. The only way to get better is to get help, whether that’s psychotherapy, medication or a combination of both. It can take time to get the right treatment

You can lead a very successful life despite depression

The initial antidepressant leads to remission in only one out of three patients with depression. When treating depression with antidepressants a ten – 12-week trial is necessary to achieve remission. The dose and the combination of medicine that gets you better keeps you better and should be continued for maintenance therapy for at least one year.

Some famous people who have had depression are Oprah Winfrey, Brad Pitt, Billy Joel, J.K. Rowling, Charles Darwin, Eric Clapton, Buzz Aldrin, Terry Bradshaw, and Calvin Coolidge.

Cutting-edge new treatment While there are many great options to treat depression like medication and therapy, some people don’t get better. For these hard-to-treat cases, IV Ketamine therapy is showing great promise, helping patients feel better within 24 hours of the initial treatment. Ketamine has been an anesthetic for many years and is now being used to help treat several psychiatric conditions.

Depression affects children as well The average age of onset of major depression is 32; however, one out of ten adolescents will have a depressive disorder by the age of 18. Compared to adults, children with depression may be more likely to present with temper tantrums, somatic complaints, social withdrawal or mood lability.

Substance abuse There is a high rate of comorbid substance abuse in major depression. Often it’s necessary to treat the depression first even though ideally you would like the patient to stop abusing substances before treating depression. If the substance abuse is not treated, remission of depression is unlikely and recurrences of both more common.

There is no shame in having depression Many people are afraid to seek treatment for fear of what others might think. Conditions of the brain are no different than conditions of the heart or any other organ in the body. There’s no need to suffer. When it comes to depression or any type of mental illness, know the facts, learn the warning signs and symptoms, and remember how important it is to get the right help. You can go on to live a happy, fulfilling and successful life despite this condition. Prakash Masand M.D. is a psychiatrist and the founder of the Centers of Psychiatric Excellence. l



September / October 2018 InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential