I caught a bit of this documentary this afternoon on our local PBS station. Not enough to write a review on the News and Reviews site, but enough to have picked up a couple of interesting tidbits.
One was a discussion with a doctor about how each case of depression is different, and has to be treated differently. He talked about how the task of finding the correct treatment, at least in terms of anti-depressants, is a bit of trial and error. There was one teen girl who went through 7 different medications before finding the one that helped her.
The other was someone from the National Institute for Mental Health, I think, who mentioned that compared to other diseases, depression takes a long time to see results. She said we feel good about something that begins to show some promise in healing the pain and anguish of depression in 6 weeks, whereas other painful ailments can be eased within minutes.
Both of these comments struck me because I’ve talked to many people who have tried to get help and gave up. Either they didn’t like the first therapist, or the first drug they tried didn’t work very well, or it had side effects, etc. Remember though, all treatment for depression is hit and miss. What worked for the last patient may not work for you, whether it was a certain drug, a certain therapist, etc. This isn’t a cold, you don’t just grab the over the counter cold remedy and get better a day or two later. Depression is a very complicated disease of a very complicated organ, and there are many, many different types of depression. Finding the right “thing” that will help you takes time, takes effort and takes constant, close monitoring. You have to be willing to do that, but the results of that work make it all worthwhile, there’s no debate about that!
If you’re interested in viewing the show, you can on-line, and if you beat me to watching the whole thing and want to post a review, let me know!