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Depression, rates of success in treating
Jan 20, 2006

I seroconverted about 3 years ago, and got an AIDS diagnosis about 2 years ago. During the past 3 years I have experienced many ups and downs. At times I have been more successful than others in accepting the facts of my life as they are, and thinking about ways I could work to bring changes that I want. I had some periods or experiences of depression before my HIV diagnosis. What I wonder (and I know that I am more depressed than not as I write this) is whether life will ever truly get better. It's easy to say that psychotropic medication and talk-therapy can or may bring a positive change (and I have experienced it some in the past). But what are the stats about long-term effects? about success in treating depression? What kind of quality of life am I really looking at, with depression and with AIDS and medical management? How is "success" in treating depression define anyway?

Thanks.

Response from Dr. Horwath

With the treatments available today, we can expect that more than 80% of people with depression will experience substantial improvement. What is success in treating depression? It means feeling better, relief of the worst symptoms, a sustained period of time without depressed mood, return of interest and ability to experience pleasure, return of energy and appetite, looking forward to seeing friends, being able to concentrate and perform one's work or studies.



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