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Antidepressants: People’s Beliefs About Using These Drugs

By January 30, 2009

People who are hesitant to use antidepressants most often are young, have never taken antidepressants, view their depression as mild and temporary, and feel unclear about the reasons for their depression.

This is according to an interesting medical study, Explaining Patients’ Beliefs About the Necessity and Harmfulness of Antidepressants, that looked at patients’ beliefs about the use of medications to treat their depression.

Guidelines for the treatment of depression recommend that people with a diagnosis of depression take medications for at least eight months after their depression symptoms have lessened. However, more than 50% of patients stop their medication too soon or take it erratically, which may increase their risk for a return of depression symptoms.

The authors of this study suggested that physicians need to address these concerns with their patients to help them make better informed decisions about whether to use antidepressant medications. However, a physician’s indifference about these issues may increase the likelihood that their patients will not take their medications and, therefore, not recover.

Photo © iStockphoto/aldomurillo

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