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Identification and Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is treatable and the earlier treatment starts, the better the outcomes. More than 80% of patients with depression have a medical comorbidity and recent studies show that prolonged depression may raise the risk of stroke and type 2 diabetes. Isolation, personal conflicts, an increase in the use of alcohol or substance abuse and an chance of suicide are also a major concern. These studies show the importance of using approved evidence-based guidelines to choose an appropriate treatment management plan. MDD can be effectively treated and allow the patient to live without debilitating depression as there are several different treatment programs; usually medication and psychotherapy are effective. Newer antidepressant medications have been shown to effectively decrease the symptoms of MDD. Some effective treatments, specifically antidepressants, are currently limited by factors that affect treatment adherence and bring about different side-effects. Recent data showing antidepressant combinations with different mechanisms of action can be a better strategy prior to augmentation with other drug classes. Combination therapies, including multiple pharmacological actions, can affect multiple monoamine targets which can produce greater efficacy.
Physician, Nursing and CMCN credits valid to January 31, 2018