The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Mental Health and HIVMental Health and HIV
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Seeking Professional opinion on best possible treatment for mental illnesses.

Dec 22, 2003

Dear Dr. Horwath , I thank you greatly for taking the time to respond to my question , and those of us who are dealing with different mental illnesses which have plagued us over the durations of our lives.

This question is directed in the area of the best treatment for different mental illnesses , including depression , and most notably , anxiety , which seems to be around in great abundance across this mental health forum.

What is the most effective treatment of both of these conditions , rather , getting into more detail , would psychotherapy by itself , have the potential to treat depression or anxiety , or would you need the added benefit of antidepressants to win an uphill battle?.

Just before I leave , in a simple yes or no fashion , are there long term effects of drug therapy?.

Thanks very much ,


Response from Dr. Horwath

I'll focus on depression. The serious form of depression - known as major depression - refers to having a persistently depressed mood for more than 2 weeks, along with symptoms of hopelessness, helplessness, excess guilt, insomnia or hypersomnia, loss of appetite or increased appetite, loss of interest, loss of pleasure, agitation, fatigue, diminished concentration and/or suicidal thoughts.

People who have persistent symptoms such as these, along with a diminished ability to work and social withdrawal, definitely need treatment. The fastest and most effective treatment for such a depression is antidepressant medication. After some of the symptoms begin to respond to medication, persons with depression will often benefit from psychotherapy, with the goal of recovery from the effects of the depression on their lives, and also with the goal of developing more effective ways of handling the occupational and interpersonal problems that often contribute to the onset of depression.

Some people with milder and less persistent depression will sometimes respond to a form of therapy known as cognitive therapy for depression. But in most cases, I would recommend seeking a psychiatric opinion and recommendation regarding antidepressant treatment. The most convincing and extensive evidence we have indicates that the antidepressants now available are extremely effective and quite safe for most people.

HAART and former depression

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint