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Depression - Getting Help - Choosing The Right Therapist, Different Types Of Therapy, When Different Treatment Is Needed, Nondrug Therapies - What Therapy Can Do

Science EncyclopediaDepression

Though depression is treatable, many Americans continue to believe otherwise. Although patients usually respond well to treatment, relatively few people get help when they need it. Among depressed adults, only one in three is treated. While it is estimated that about 80 percent of people with depression can improve their mental health with psychotherapy, medication, or both, people continue to believe that treatments do not work.

Certainly, our society continues to have negative stereotypes of those suffering from any type of mental illness. A recent study conducted by Michael M. Faenza, president and CEO of the National Mental Health Association, revealed that the entertainment and news media continue to portray individuals with mental illness negatively. The study asked more than 1,000 people, “How does the media impact the public's perception of mental illness?” More than half believe those with mental illness are portrayed negatively in movies, television shows, and books. Television shows and movies frequently depict those with mental illnesses as dangerous and addicted to drugs and alcohol. Further, news shows often note the presence of mental illness when reporting on criminals but remain silent about mental illness in the lives of people receiving positive press. Unfortunately, these stereotypes perpetuate the belief that depression is untreatable.

What Therapy Can Do

Depression is a disease that requires long-term care. Verbal therapy occurs over several sessions or meetings. These sessions are usually helpful for several reasons. Some mental health experts believe that depression often occurs when a person is trying to avoid dealing with a painful memory. Mental health experts can also determine what kind of therapy will help their patient most.

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