New depression and anxiety treatment goals defined

als of Remission of Symptoms and Recovery-

Remission of symptoms is the treatment goal increasingly accepted by the medical community, explained one of three discussion leaders at the roundtable, Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., Reunette W. Harris professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

Remission aims for the virtual elimination of a persons symptoms of depression or anxiety and restoration of his or her psychosocial and occupational functioning essentially allowing a return to enjoying life and making strides toward recovery, he added. A person achieves remission when symptoms are absent for at least six months. In contrast, response, or only partial improvement of symptoms, is a common standard of care.

The consequences of failing to achieve remission of depression or anxiety symptoms are that a consumer has a greater risk of relapse and symptom recurrence, Nemeroff said. Remission of symptoms is a critical step on the road to a persons complete recovery.

Nemeroff also shared recent research, published by Michael E. Thase, M.D., in the British Journal of Psychiatry, suggesting that certain treatments may provide higher remission rates.

Remission and recovery are usually achieved through a combination of medication, psychotherapy and peer and community support, explained the roundtables second discussion leader, Courtenay M. Harding, Ph.D., director of the Institute for the Study of Human Resilience and professor at Boston Universitys Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

Harding shared longitudinal research showing that psychosocial rehabilitation services, with medication, improve outcomes and promote recovery. Remission is not an end, but rather a milestone on the way to recovery, the ability to lead a life less hindered by illness.

Hearing from a mental health professional that recovery is

Contact: Marion E. Glick
Porter Novelli

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