Treatment of Recurrent Depression
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Depression is one of the world’s greatest public health problems and, because most people who suffer from depression will experience multiple episodes of illness during their lifetimes, improving longer-term treatment options can be expected to greatly offset the staggering personal and societal costs of this common affliction. In the accompanying review article, Professor Giovanni Fava and colleagues discuss the state of the evidence pertaining to preventive treatments for recurrent depressive disorders. Despite documenting progress in the field over the past decade, they raise a number of important concerns. In this commentary, I will focus on four of these issues:
Does tolerance develop to the effects of antidepressants during prophylaxis?
Are there evidence-based alternatives to maintenance pharmacotherapy?
Why is the role of psychosocial interventions under-valued for prophylaxis?
Should we tell our patients about the possible need for lifelong treatment?
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