What education should patients be given about major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Mar 28, 2019
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

Education plays an important role in the successful treatment of major depressive disorder. Over the long term, patients may also become aware of signs of relapse and may seek treatment early. Patients should be aware of the rationale behind the choice of treatment, potential adverse effects, and expected results. The involvement of the patient in the treatment plan can enhance medication compliance and referral to counseling.

Family members also need education about the nature of depression and may benefit from supportive interactions. Engaging family can be a critical component of a treatment plan, especially for pediatric and late-onset depression. Family members are helpful informants, can ensure medication compliance, and can encourage patients to change behaviors that perpetuate depression (eg, inactivity).


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