After reading the first paragraph of "Get Healthier and Happier" [Dec. 24, 2007], I thought it was the first article that expressed a true understanding of depression.
The article refers to several complex theories and treatments of depression. It seems that hospitals, psychiatrists, and researchers think they have an answer. I know, since I looked to them for an answer for 25 years. Two years ago, I was finally referred to a psychologist who told me on our first visit, "I cannot cure you of depression, but I can help you live with it." These were the truest and most helpful words I had heard. There is no magic bullet for depression, and the medical profession must realize this. People with serious clinical depression need special help intended just for them in order to live with depression.
J. R. Price
Thank you for pointing out that depression may be multifactorial, and therefore treatment approaches should include medication, talk therapy, lifestyle changes, and exercise. However, it is important to note that if patients don't respond to treatment provided by primary-care doctors, they may consider getting a referral to see a psychiatrist. Patients who fail to respond to treatment may need a more complex medication regimen, usually offered by specialists in mental health.
Jacob Moussai, M.D.
Senior Resident Physician
Yale School of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry
West Haven, Conn.
The real answer to depression is not just in exercise or light boxes—it's in thinking about other people, helping the community, and finding a way to be useful to those around you. Depression lessens considerably the more useful you become to others.