Treatments for Depression: Reactions and New Approaches
Dr. Sonja Trent-Brown
The overarching question for this project was whether S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) could be a more effective, less side-effect-ridden treatment for depression as compared to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Pertinent to this topic is the evaluation of traditional treatment approaches and whether individuals feel that their experiences with these treatments have been successful. A survey was developed to assess individuals’ typical reactions to life stressors and whether they have a history of depression as well. Assessing the popularity of antidepressants is imperative, for it determines whether a new treatment for depression will benefit the general public. Three samples of participants were included in the study. The first sample was drawn from undergraduate students, the second from patients currently undergoing treatment, and the final sample was from online participants ages 18-65. It was expected that participants with depression would be dissatisfied with their current treatment. Of particular interest was exploring the relationships among the variables in the study (e.g. social connectedness, physiological state, stress responses) and determining the extent to which responses to depression varied with respect to gender and age. It was expected that women would be more likely to exhibit dissatisfaction with their current treatment due to the social stigma against men regarding openness about emotional stress. It was also expected that people under the age of 26 would be less satisfied with traditional treatments as compared to older participants who may have adapted to their treatments. Finally, it was expected that inpatients would be less satisfied with treatments than outpatients. In addition to the survey component, there was an interview aspect of the study. Interviews were conducted with professionals involved in the study and treatment of depression. Expectations were that interviewees would provide greater insight into the benefits of SAMe as compared to alternative treatments for depression.
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