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Should I be actively involved or let the drugs and Doctor do the work?
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Active vs. Passive It requires some consumer savvy to get the best results from treatments for depression and anxiety, our research has found. Survey respondents who were most satisfied with their care and had the best outcomes were more likely to: • Research their problem in advance of seeking help. • Interview more than one professional. • Ask therapists whether they had experience treating that problem. • Bring a family member or friend to an office visit. • Keep a written record of their treatment and emotional state. • Apply what they were learning in treatment to their daily lives. That last step, which involves working hard at therapy and putting suggestions into action, was the best predictor of a good outcome. Only 1 percent of respondents followed all of the steps listed above, and 18 percent followed none at all. People with depression and anxiety might need to involve family or friends to help them get the best care and make the best use of it. Restrictive insurance policies, social stigma, and a feeling of “What's the use?” can all present barriers. But if social and personal barriers are are overcome and appropriate treatment is started, the experience of CR readers demonstrates that relief is available. “My whole life has changed,” says Robert MacNeill, speaking of his successful treatment for panic disorder. “It's like being reborn.” To stay safe this summer, you need to learn as much as you can about how to avoid summer's hidden dangers. If you suspect you are suffering from depression, make an appointment with your doctor soon. Prompt, proper treatment of depression can control symptoms and restore your quality of life. With many drug and nondrug options available, having up-to-date, unbiased information is very important.


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