Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Alabamans with depression may need personalized treatment

Treating depression can be difficult, and many in Alabama may live with the symptoms of depression despite taking medication for the illness. For example, a certain medication might help a person for months or even years, but then the person will relapse back into the depression. Moreover, some medications help with some symptoms of depression, but not all symptoms of depression.

However, a recent Yale study examined 9,000 people with depression and concluded that physicians may be able to personalize treatment for these individuals based on the symptoms the person exhibits. The study aimed to determine whether some medications effectively treated all symptoms or whether some medications were better suited to particular symptoms.

The study concluded that different medications effectively treated some symptoms but not all symptoms. For example, a particular antidepressant may help with suicidal thoughts, but may not help with anxiety. Therefore, since there are different underlying biologies for the various symptoms of depression, a personalized approach towards treatment may be appropriate.

When it comes to treating depression, it is not the case that a person will have the same medication work for them forever. Instead, depression has its ups and downs, and a treatment that may have worked in the past may cease being effective in the future. In fact, the study authors reported that only approximately 20 percent of those studied who are taking medication for depression will experience continuous relief from the illness. In contrast, one-third of those studied had a high risk that their depression would eventually relapse. Just under half of those studied exhibited an unstable mood. Therefore, although medication helps some people initially, there needs to be strategies to keep the symptoms from coming back in the long run.

Treating depression is not always an easy matter. Moreover, some of those who live with depression, even with medication, may find that they still experience debilitating symptoms of the disease, to the point where they are no longer able to take care of themselves. The Social Security Administration recognizes that depression can be a disabling condition. Therefore, those with depression may seek Social Security disability benefits for illness if their condition is so severe that they cannot work. However, qualifying for benefits can be tricky. Therefore, it might be helpful to have the assistance of an attorney when applying for disability benefits.

Source: New Haven Register, "Yale studies look at personalizing treatments for depression," February 28 2017

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