Depression Therapy, Drugs Similar Results

YONKERS, N.Y., June 2 (UPI) — A U.S. survey by Consumer Reports indicates people with depression report similar results from talk therapy and medication.

The survey involved more than 1,500 respondents to Consumer Reports’ 2009 annual questionnaire, who had sought professional help for depression, anxiety or both.

Survey respondents, who had at least seven sessions of talk therapy, report as much improvement as those who took medication, but those who did both therapy and medication fared even better, Consumer Reports says.

Those who took medications from the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors class of antidepressants such as citalopram, or Celexa; fluoxetine, or Prozac; sertraline, or Zoloft and their generic equivalents reported lower rates of side effects than those taking the newer serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors — a newer class of antidepressants such as venlafaxine, or Effexor and duloxetine, or Cymbalta.

The most common side effect, loss of sexual interest or ability, was substantially lower compared with the last mental health Consumer Reports survey in 2004.

For those who sought talk therapy, psychologists, social workers and licensed professional counselors received equal helpfulness ratings.

The survey sample — 55 percent male with an average age of 58 — is not necessarily representative of the general U.S. population. No margin of error was provided.

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