Early depression, anxiety treatment may cut relapse risk

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Washington, Oct 2 : Early treatment with antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication can significantly reduce relapse risk in future, says a new study by University of Alberta.

The study led by researcher Ian Colman focused on the long-term effects of taking antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications.

The team studied a group of 200 people who were diagnosed with either depression or anxiety. Of that group, 45 were on medication.

The team assessed their mental health in 1989 through a series of questions in a survey asking about their illness and what, if any, treatments they were on. Ten years later the group took a similar questionnaire.

The study showed that those who were not using antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications were three times more likely to be suffering from depression or anxiety 10 years later.

"This is a significant find," said Colman.

"What this tells us is that, if people get treated initially, they are less likely to have a relapse in the future.

Colman said that depression and anxiety have a stigma attached to them and that people are often afraid to admit they have a mental disorder. But he hopes this new information will help people realize the long-term benefits of getting help right away.


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