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Reasons and effective ways of recovering of depressed U.S adults
According to a result of the Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys (MEPS), most of the adults of U.S suffer from depression. Though a large number of people screen positive for this problem, they remain untreated.
Dr. Mark Olfson from College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University has given his important opinion to Reuters Health by email. The statement of Olfson who is also a physician of the New York State Psychiatric Institute in New York City covers some important issues.
According to him, in the recent years, the tendency of prescribing of antidepressant medications has increased. As a result of the development of science, many physicians might assume that under treatment of depression is no longer a widespread problem.
A number of surveys show the agitated condition of the patients who are suffering from the problem of depression. As per the result of the surveys of the early 2000s, most of the patients with major depressive disorder even do not receive proper treatment.
Only little is known about the extent in which such patients of U.S have got care to get rid away from the problem. The extent is also low in which such patients are harmonized based on the severity of their illness. Most of the time, they keep back from getting appropriate treatments and essential helps from healthcare professionals.
Result of studies
Dr. Olfson and colleagues have used data from the 2012 and 2013 MEPS to get a clearer idea on this topic. The data has helped them to know more about the prevalence and treatment of adults with screen-positive depression.
According to the data, a patient’s Health Questionnaire is 2 score of 3 or less. They have also become successful to know whether intensive treatment is becoming the cause of more serious psychological distress.
About 1 in 12 adults (8.4%) screened positive for depression. Surprisingly, the prevalence varied depending on the earning. In the lowest income group, the prevalence varied widely from 18% among adults while in the highest income group it was 3.7%.
The proportion of the people was very low who received some depression treatment. The list includes only 28.7% people who screened positive for depression during the year of survey.
On the other hand, the JAMA Internal Medicine reported something important in the online on August 29 of that year. They stated that 78.5% of those with screen-positive depression made at least one medical visit during that time for the first time.
Dr. Oflson remarks after research
Dr. Olfson quoted some really awkward information in his report. He says that a large number of people even do not care to undertake a treatment to solve their problems. The group of people is the men and adults with less education.
The list also includes those who are from ethnic and racial minorities. Dr. Olfson stated that they don’t even receive proper treatment even when they are suffering from depressive symptoms.
Around 8.1% of adults undertook treatment for depression but only a few number of those had screen-positive depression. According to the report, only 29.9% had screen-positive depression and 21.8% had serious psychological distress.
General treatments for depression
The general treatments for depression were
- Antidepressants (87.0%)
- Psychotherapy (23.2%)
- Anxiolytics (13.5%)
- Antipsychotics (7.0%) and
- Mood Stabilizers (5.1%)
Patients with more serious distress were likely to be treated with psychotherapy, anxiolytics, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers or with the combination of antidepressants and psychotherapy. On the other hand, patients with temperate problem preferred antidepressants for their treatment.
Nearly three-quarters of patients who were screened positive for depression received an exclusive treatment by general medical professionals. The remaining ones received the treatment from psychiatrists or other mental health professionals to get rid of their problem. The former group was less likely to recover than the other group of people.
The report revealed a totally different side of higher education. It was revealed that about half of college graduates were suffering from serious distress. This group of people received treatment from the psychiatrists comparing with less than a third of their counterparts with less education.
Dr. Olfson placed his valuable statement in this aspect. According to him, “The results highlight ongoing challenges in aligning depression care with patient needs”. He also added saying, “Expanding the use of simple depression screening tools in primary care is a good first step to increasing identification of depression and to guide matching patients to appropriate depression treatment.
Beyond screening, integrating mental health services into primary care, though far more complicated, has been shown to improve key patient outcomes of outpatients with depression.”
Problems arising due to untreated depression
Dr. Olfson concluded in saying that as people are unaware of the symptoms, many depressed patients do not even receive proper treatment when they have already started suffering from symptoms.
According to him, it is quite surprising that most of the physicians prefer to treat uncomplicated cases. The reason of such ignorance is that untreated depression can cause a number of problems. The problems that can appear are as such
- It can be highly distressing
- Prejudice social function
- Decreases productivity during work
- Enhance the risk of suicide
- Ischemic heart disease
- Decrease the response in medical treatments
It is quite important for a physician to take care of a patient of depression all the time.
Another report that was published by Dr. Dara H. Sorkin is also considered as a significant one in this field. Dr. Dara H. Sorkin from the University of California, Irvine has published an extensive report on the treatment of depression.
The renowned physician has shared his valuable explanation with Reuters Health over email. According to him, certainly, screening patients as they present for general medical care will increase the detection of depression. But detection is not enough to solve the problem. The health care system needs to be better prepared to offer patients appropriate mental health services. The system must concord with their personal and cultural values and linguistic preferences.
Reasons for critical gaps in mental health
Dr. Dara H. Sorkin has also added in her statement that critical gaps in mental health continue to persist for various reasons. The reasons are as followed
- Most of the time, the problems arise in those who come from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds.
- Those who have low-income individuals
- Less-educated adults
- Those who suffer from lack of security in their life
She has suggested some remedies to get rid of the problem. She says that affordable Care Act may become the remedy of the problem, though there are few problems that are not likely to completely eliminate. The patient would require a thoroughly mental health treatment to overcome these problems.