Major depression is the most common type of mood disorder in the
United States, affecting about 15 million American adults (almost
7% of the population) in a typical year. For many of those
affected, symptoms are mild or moderate. One nationally
representative survey of Americans with depression, for example,
found that symptoms were mild in 20% of people, moderate in 50%,
and severe in 30%.
A meta-analysis adds to the growing evidence that antidepressants
work best for people with severe symptoms of depression, as we've
reported before. But this latest study provides a reminder that for
patients newly diagnosed with milder forms of depression, it may
make sense to try psychotherapy, exercise, and other nondrug
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