Antidepressants do not cure all the symptoms of depression. During the study, researchers of the UT Southwestern Medical Center found that even people who show a clear treatment response with antidepressant medications continue to experience symptoms like insomnia, sadness and decreased concentration. They also cited concern over the complete recovery of patients who persistently experience these residual depressive symptoms.
During the 6-year study which had 4,000 participants with major depressive disorders, researchers studied an extensive range of symptoms of depression like sadness, suicidal thoughts; and changes in sleeping pattern, appetite or weight, concentration, outlook and energy or fatigue. They studied these parameters at the beginning of the trial and also at the end of the antidepressant treatment course. All the participants reported about three to thirteen residual depressive symptoms while 75% of participants reported five or more symptoms. 79% reported mid-nocturnal insomnia, 71% sadness and 70% reported decreased concentration and decision making skills.
AdvertisementThus the study suggests that use of measurement-based care techniques to identify and target residual symptoms is essential to help the patients with depression to return back to normal and eventually recover from depression. It was also found that the effects of antidepressants continued for at least 9-months even after the antidepressant medication was stopped.
This study has been published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology.