Tuesday, November 02, 2010

New study less hopeful on teenage depression

New research from Duke University in North Carolina has painted a gloomy picture of the recovery rates from adolescent depression. Their study involved 196 participants - 110 of whom were girls - aged between 12 and 17. Some were treated with fluoxetine (Prozac), others with cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), others with a combination of the two, while a fourth group acted as a control group (i.e. had no psychotherapy and took a placebo instead of Prozac). Nearly 95% of the participants recovered and 88.3% recovered within two years. However, over the five-year period of the study 46.6% of the participants who recovered had another bout of major depression. 57% of the girls had a relapse, compared to 33% of the boys - perhaps, thought the researchers, because the girls were more inclined to chew things over and have feelings of inadequacy. None of the treatments was better at preventing relapse but those teenagers who recovered within two years were less likely to become ill again.

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