Though mental health disorders like depression are considered chronic conditions, new research demonstrates that most general practitioners tend not to treat depression like they do other chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension. Experts in the field suggest that mental illness management in primary care should be approached similar to other chronic conditions, where an emphasis is placed on regular visits and check-ups, reviewing treatment adherence, efficacy and tolerability, and providing much-needed education to patients and their families.
"“When we treat high blood pressure, the blood pressure may start at 150 over 95, and then it’s monitored over time until it gets to a level that’s being aimed for,” said Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, president of the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. The foundation funds mental health research but was not involved with this study. “If somebody has depression, their symptoms need to be monitored until it gets to a level that the depression is lifted" ...
“If we actually treat depression as a chronic illness and use the level of tools we’re using for diabetes, then we’ll be able to better treat patients — and help them live healthier lives and more productive lives,” she said."
For the full story, click here: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/for-depression-primary-care-doctors-could-be-a-barrier-to-treatment/