The Epidemiology of Depression and the Evolution of Treatment

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Depression is a prevalent and pernicious disorder. About 1 in 5 US adults have at least 1 lifetime episode of major depression. Of those with depression, the majority will relapse over the long-term and many will have poor mental health outcomes and psychosocial disabilities. Over the past century, a range of treatments, including medications with varying mechanisms of action, have been developed to manage depression. Treatments from seizure therapies to an array of medications—amphetamine, tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, mixed-action antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and dual reuptake inhibitors—have evolved.

J Clin Psychiatry 2012;73(suppl 1):5–9