Interview with Dr. Anne Gut-Fayand, psychiatrist at Sainte-Anne Hospital, Paris. She gives lots of tips to get out of a depression ...
Why can not we heal more people with depression?
Depression affects many people, but the disease is sometimes difficult to diagnose. It takes long interviews. Often, patients themselves are not aware of their depression. They may suffer from pain for example. They will then see their doctor who stops the pain and does not necessarily have time to look elsewhere. And some patients are in denial.
But once the disease is diagnosed, we cure it! If we do not cure it, it is not a depression. The difficulty here is not to miss. Many depressed people do not know they are. They feel bad but do not know why. They have a pain in their body, so they go to the doctor who prescribes analgesics. And unfortunately the symptoms persist, the person still feels bad, sees no way out, and in some cases even acts out and commits suicide.
Can we cure depression without taking antidepressants?
Yes. It all depends on the level of depression, but it is difficult to get out of it alone. We feel devalued, self-esteem is totally degraded, and it's a vicious circle that is difficult to get out of. In the lightest cases, psychotherapy may be considered. It works well. But in more severe cases, do not be afraid of drugs. Antidepressants today have nothing to do with those prescribed twenty or thirty years ago: now there are few or no side effects. If medication is associated with psychotherapy, there is no reason for the disease to continue. It is not the treatment that is problematic, it is his diagnosis, much more difficult.
Yet we say that in France, we consume too many antidepressants ...
Indeed. We actually know a real problem of detection of depressive symptoms: it happens that doctors detect them poorly and prescribe antidepressants for depressions that are actually simple anxious reactions. In general, there is a poor "tracking" of patients, poor follow-up, and therefore drugs that are not taken as they should be.
Are there any other treatments?
Yes. Psychoanalysis, or behavioral and cognitive therapy for mild to moderate depressive episodes. There is a treatment that works very well but which, unfortunately, is not at all fashionable, or even very scary: it is the electroshock (seismotherapy), especially in case of depressive episodes melancholy. A terrible idea of electroshock is mistaken. But be careful, it must obviously be done well so that it is not painful.
For mild cases, or for those who do not want to take too strong medicine, there is St. John's wort. It is a plant that is prescribed a lot in England.You want to react, to give your testimony or to ask a question? See you in our FORUMS Depression or Psychology or A doctor answers you!