Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Why Antidepressants Fail: The Answer May Lie at the Heart of Social Psychology

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in US, affecting almost 7% of the population:

Though antidepressants are a frequent treatment for depression, as well as related disorders, studies estimate that they are ineffective in 30-50% of people. And a new study may have uncovered why:

The new research suggests it is at least partly down to people’s environment whether or not antidepressants work. Antidepressants may give the brain a chance to recover from depression, but more is needed. The rest could be down to being exposed to relatively low levels of stress.
The study was done in mice, so more research is needed to confirm whether this holds true for humans. But this finding aligns with a variety of social psychological (and related) theories. In fact, the influence of environment on physical health has long been the subject of public health and health services research and is part of the motivation for changes to healthcare delivery (like the patient-centered care model).

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