Do you suffer from depression? If so, you are not alone. In fact, you are far from being alone. Depression ranks as the most common form of psychiatric disorder suffered by people in the United States. To give some sense of just how many people actually suffer from depression, “in 2015, an estimated 16.1 million adults aged 18 or older had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. This number represented 6.7% of all U.S. adults.” Moreover, depression is credited with having the “highest burden of disability among mental and behavioral disorders” (National Institutes of Mental Health). This translates into a significant impact on healthcare utilization, as well as a potentially significant negative impact on quality of life and work place productivity.
Because of the above, the Federal government (e.g., National Institutes of Mental Health – NIMH) and many pharmaceutical companies devote a large amount of time, effort and money into trying to find more effective and reliable drugs to treat depression. But finding a new drug that will work across all types of depressed patients or that just work better than the drugs that are already approved by the FDA to treat depression is proving to be easier said than done. After all, there are many reasons why people develop depression, and in those who do, the degree to which they are affected varies widely. As such, while some people respond quickly and well to the first medication they are prescribed, others may need to try more than one drug or fail entirely to obtain relief (i.e., treatment refractive). This last point is critical as there are some people who are so severely depressed and/or been so for such a long time that they may be at a serious risk of committing suicide.
Drug development programs and Clinical Trials For Depression Treatment are constantly being pursued. Basically, there are two main approaches: a) continue to focus on what is already known about the systems that underlie this disorder within the brain, or b) look to uncover new, as yet unrecognized, reasons why depression develops or remains refractory to the approaches already identified. The challenge for the latter is that there are already a large number of drugs approved for the treatment of depression. To obtain approval from the FDA in this already cluttered market, a new drug candidate would have to be one that could be shown to be better either in terms of effectiveness or safety than what is already available. After all, who needs another drug that is either not as good or equally as good as one or more that are already available? The challenge for the former is that finding these needles in the haystack is easier said than done. That is not to say that some progress has not occurred. Indeed, there are some intriguing findings that have been reported in recent years. One of the more significant is the observation that certain areas of the brain appear to shrink in size in people suffering from major depressive disorder compared to people who were not suffering from depression. However, knowing that this occurs and finding ways to counteract this is quite challenging.
In the mean time, if you or someone you know is suffering from depression, it is important to know that depression is, for the most part treatable. If, however, you are someone who has become frustrated with the failure of what’s out there to provide the relief you are looking for, you might consider participating in one of the various Clinical Trials For Depression Treatment currently being conducted at a medical facility near you. For example, for those living within the New York City Metropolitan Area, there are currently a number of Depression Research Studies New York City that are looking for volunteers to participate in one of these trials. Two websites that may prove helpful to you in finding out where such studies are being conducted near you are CenterWatch.com and ClinicalTrials.gov.