Though 90 percent of people with depression responding to a recent online
survey believe it is important to take their antidepressant medications
exactly as prescribed, at some point 40 percent said they stopped taking these
medications without a doctor's consent because they believed they were no
longer experiencing depression symptoms.
In addition, only about half of those who were being treated for depression
(53 percent) considered themselves "well informed" about their
disorder and the medications used to treat it.
These are some of the findings released in August from a survey sponsored
by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) and funded by Wyeth
The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive Inc. in April. A
password-protected e-mail link to the survey was sent to 1,086 people who had
acknowledged in an earlier Harris survey that they had been diagnosed with
depression and were taking antidepressants.
The survey participants had voluntarily signed up to be part of Harris
Interactive's multimillion-member database and were screened to ensure that
they were at least 25 years old, had been diagnosed with depression, were
taking a prescription antidepressant at the time of the survey, and had not
taken a depression-related survey in the prior six months.
In an press release announcing the findings, NAMI Medical Director Ken
Duck-worth, M.D., pointed out that "the majority of people with
depression can achieve success with medication, talk therapy, or a combination
of both." He also stated that physicians "must select appropriate
therapies and provide the education and support necessary to help patients
understand their illness and achieve success."
Survey respondents answered questions about their treatment regimen,
knowledge about depression and its treatment, quality of life, and response to
These were among other findings from the survey: