July 22, 2022

As science searches for answers on depression, what should patients do today?

The brain’s a complicated place. But medications, talk therapy, lifestyle changes and advanced treatments do work, as research continues into why

Right now, more than 1 in 10 Americans take medicines for depression -- a number that has risen during the pandemic.

But how do those drugs work – and why don’t they work for everyone? And why do people get depression, anyway?

Experts still don’t know all the answers to these questions. After all, the brain is a complicated place. But they do know that depression has its roots in everything from the genes we’re born with, to the experiences we had in our early years, to what’s happening in our lives right now.

At the same time, they do know that a lot of people with depression get help from antidepressant drugs – and from talk-based therapy, better sleep, exercise, more social interaction and, in severe cases, treatments like ketamine and ECT.

The critical thing is for people with depression symptoms to reach out for help and keep trying until they find something that works for them.

That’s why the director of the nation’s first Depression Center, Srijan Sen, M.D., Ph.D., is concerned about the impact of a new study about the role of serotonin in depression that’s getting a lot of attention.

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