Long-Term Treatment of Recurrent and Chronic Depression

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Depression is associated with high rates of impairment and comorbidity with other disorders and has a devastating effect on those who suffer from it. Treatment options are available and can greatly improve functioning; however, undertreatment still persists. Undertreatment may result from incorrect or incomplete diagnoses or inadequate treatment duration. In addition, when treating depression, clinicians must identify underlying conditions, life-span issues, and proper treatment duration to maximize outcome. This article provides an overview of the underlying implications of depression, reviews issues in treating chronic depression that are still unresolved, and recommends standards for maintenance therapy.

J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(suppl 24):3-5