Treating Depression

June 26, 2009 • Volume 19, Issue 24
Is effective treatment available?
By Marcia Clemmitt


Owen Wilson (AFP/Getty Images/Robyn Beck)
Movie actor Owen Wilson, 40 — known as a happy-go-lucky “slacker” on screen — shocked fans in August 2007 when he reportedly slit his wrists and took a drug overdose in a suicide attempt. It was later revealed that he has fought a longtime battle with depression. (AFP/Getty Images/Robyn Beck)

Depression and suicide always increase in tough economic times, as indicated by a rash of suicides by men despondent over their families' financial troubles. Meanwhile, a wave of suicides and mental disorders — mainly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression — has hit military personnel returning from repeated deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq, swamping military health-care systems. Depression, the most common serious mental illness, is sometimes caused by genetics, but it also can be triggered by stress or trauma. Access to treatment has expanded in recent years, as more and more primary-care doctors screen for the disease. And a new mental-health-care “parity” law passed by Congress in 2008 is expected to increase insurance coverage as well as access to mental-health services. But many people with severe depression remain uninsured and dependent on public health-care programs, which recession-plagued states are cutting back as revenues dwindle.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Mental Health
Oct. 11, 2019  The Insanity Defense
Jul. 12, 2019  Suicide Crisis
Mar. 13, 2015  Prisoners and Mental Illness
Dec. 05, 2014  Treating Schizophrenia
Sep. 12, 2014  Teen Suicide
May 10, 2013  Mental Health Policy
Aug. 03, 2012  Treating ADHD
Jun. 01, 2012  Traumatic Brain Injury
Jun. 26, 2009  Treating Depression
Feb. 13, 2004  Youth Suicide
Feb. 06, 2004  Mental Illness Medication Debate
Mar. 29, 2002  Mental Health Insurance
Feb. 08, 2002  Treating Anxiety
Jul. 16, 1999  Childhood Depression
Jun. 18, 1999  Boys' Emotional Needs
Sep. 12, 1997  Mental Health Policy
Aug. 19, 1994  Prozac
Aug. 06, 1993  Mental Illness
Oct. 09, 1992  Depression
Jun. 14, 1991  Teenage Suicide
Jul. 08, 1988  Biology Invades Psychology
Feb. 13, 1987  The Mentally Ill
Aug. 20, 1982  Mental Health Care Reappraisal
Jun. 12, 1981  Youth Suicide
Sep. 21, 1979  Mental Health Care
Sep. 15, 1978  Brain Research
Jul. 05, 1974  Psychomedicine
Aug. 08, 1973  Emotionally Disturbed Children
Dec. 27, 1972  Mental Depression
Mar. 24, 1972  Schizophrenia: Medical Enigma
Apr. 21, 1971  Approaches to Death
Mar. 03, 1971  Encounter Groups
Nov. 25, 1970  Psychological Counseling of Students
Feb. 19, 1969  Future of Psychiatry
Feb. 02, 1966  New Approaches to Mental Illness
Jan. 22, 1964  Insanity as a Defense
Sep. 25, 1963  Anatomy of Suicide
Nov. 20, 1957  Drugs and Mental Health
Apr. 23, 1954  Mental Health Programs
Jul. 09, 1948  Mental Health
Mental Health
People with Mental Disabilities