Despite the availability of more mental health treatments than ever, there’s still room for new options that could improve the likelihood of patients finding one that works for them.
Patients who have major depressive disorder or postpartum depression, for example, and still struggle to manage their condition may soon have a new option. The timing for introducing an innovative medication is ideal, as rates for both conditions are on the rise.
Depression Beyond the Pandemic
Rates of depression tripled early in the pandemic and, research has shown, continue to climb. The condition now affects one in every three adults in the United States. It’s also the leading cause of disability worldwide.
Depression can manifest as a depressed mood – feeling sad, empty or irritable – and extend into feelings of low self-worth and hopelessness. Depressive episodes, which can last for a few days or be much longer, range in severity from mild to severe. The disease varies from patient to patient, which is why having multiple treatment options is important.
Untreated Postpartum Depression
Likewise, new parents who experience postpartum depression could also benefit from additional medication options. As many as one in seven women develop postpartum depression, robbing moms of valuable bonding time with their new baby.
Compared to white women, Black women are twice as likely to experience a maternal mental health condition, but they are half as likely to receive treatment. It’s an issue New York state’s Office of Mental Health is looking into more closely.
Adjusting screening tools can help improve diagnoses among women of color, but additional treatment options are also necessary. A combination of therapy, self-care and medication is often recommended, but again, the most common oral medications aren’t effective for every patient. Some are known to have intolerable side effects. The last thing new moms need is to trade their feelings of depression with feelings of agitation or feeling sick.
Improved Access, Better Medications
Patients with major depressive disorder and postpartum depression would be well served by having more options. Confronting the ongoing mental health crisis requires greater access to psychiatric services and more treatment options.