New depression treatments favour a tailored approach and include recommendations for the use of shock therapy and other alternatives, including exercise when people fail to get relief from drugs.
The guidelines, issued by the American Psychiatric Association, are the first update on depression treatment in more than a decade. "The five-year process of intense review, discussion and thoughtful revision-making has led us to today`s release of new guidelines that we believe will improve patient care," Dr. Alan Gelenberg, an Arizona-based psychiatrist who led the group that drafted the guidelines, said in a statement. "We are hopeful these guidelines will lead to improved lives for many patients."
The panel searched more than 13,000 scientific articles published between 1999 and 2006 to craft the new guidelines. Among the changes, the researchers recommend:
In a separate report, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday that about 9 per cent of US adults surveyed in 2006 and 2008 had current symptoms of depression, including 3.4 per cent who had symptoms of major depression, in which a person reports having five or more depressive symptoms for at least two weeks.
The survey included more than 235,000 people in 45 states, the District of Columbia and two US territories. Of these, only 4.8 per cent of North Dakota residents were depressed, compared with 14.8 per cent of those in Mississippi. Overall, depression affects more than 13 million U.S. adults each year and costs billions of dollars to treat in costs for treatment, loss of productivity, workers compensation and death.