Depression is common and can be debilitating. Fortunately there are a number of medications that are effective in treating this disorder. Generally speaking these are easy to prescribe and are well tolerated. The number of Americans treated for depression increased from 0.73% in 1987 to 2.33% in 1997, and that among these persons, antidepressant medication use increased from 37.3%-74.5%.
However, psychotherapy is less commonly utilized. The rate for psychotherapy among persons treated for depression in 1987 was 71.1%; 2 decades later it was 43.1%. Psychotherapy demands an investment of time and money and is not as easily accessible as medication treatment. Unfortunately it sometimes is not a feasible addition to treatment for many. The reality remains that most people, not just depression sufferers, really could benefit from the help a psychologist would give. A life coach is a positive addition to the quality of life for every person although many feel they cannot spend added money. This therapy should be viewed as a necessity, not a luxury, with the benefits far outweighing the cost.
The rate of outpatient treatment for depression of 2.88 per 100 persons in 2007 remains far below the estimated rate of depression in the community. More work is needed for all of us to improve recognition of major depressive disorder, lessen its stigma, and increase access to treatment.

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