Prevent Postpartum Depression.research On Treatments For Depression Medication - From The Nimh ?
Q: Several studies have shown an increased risk of suicide attempts in
people with co-occurring depression and panic disorder--the anxiety
disorder characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense
fear and physical symptoms, including chest pain, dizziness, and
shortness of breath.
A:Depression frequently co-occurs with a variety of other physical illnesses, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes, and also can increase the risk for subsequent physical illness, disability, and premature death. Depression in the context of physical illness, however, is often unrecognized and untreated. Furthermore, depression can impair the ability to seek and stay on treatment for other medical illnesses. NIMH research suggests that early diagnosis and treatment of depression in patients with other physical illnesses may help improve overall health outcome. The results of a recent NIMH-supported study provide the strongest evidence to date that depression increases the risk of having a future heart attack. Analysis of data from a large-scale survey revealed that individuals with a history of major depression were more than four times as likely to suffer a heart attack over a 12-13 year follow-up period, compared to people without such a history. Even people with a history of 2 or more weeks of mild depression were more than twice as likely to have a heart attack, compared to those who had had no such episodes. Although associations were found between certain psychotropic medications and heart attack risk, the researchers determined that the associations were simply a reflection of the primary relationship between depression and heart trouble. The question of whether treatment for depression reduces the excess risk of heart attack in depressed patients must be addressed with further research. NIMH is planning to present a major conference with other NIH Institutes on depression and co-occurring illnesses. The outcomes of this conference will guide NIMH investigation of depression both as a contributing factor to other medical illnesses and as a result of these illnesses. Large-scale research studies have reported that up to 2.5 percent of children and up to 8.3 percent of adolescents in the United States suffer from depression. In addition, research has discovered that depression onset is occurring earlier in individuals born in more recent decades. There is evidence that depression emerging early in life often persists, recurs, and continues into adulthood, and that early onset depression may predict more severe illness in adult life. Diagnosing and treating children and adolescents with depression is critical to prevent impairment in academic, social, emotional, and behavioral functioning and to allow children to live up to their full potential.