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More seek help for depression

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WASHINGTON, Jun 18, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- More than half of Americans suffering from depression now seek treatment, up from a third 10 years ago, according to a survey.

Yet nearly 60 percent of the people in treatment do not receive adequate care, suggests the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

An important reason people with depression fail to receive proper care, according to Dr. Ronald Kessler, the leader of the National Institute of Health survey, is that many people seek help from family doctors, who often do not treat depression aggressively.

"Family doctors are apparently not yet up to speed enough to give good-quality care," Kessler, a Harvard University professor, told The New York Times.

For the survey, treatment was considered adequate if it consisted of at least eight half-hour sessions of counseling with a mental health professional or treatment with antidepressant drugs for at least 30 days, combined with four visits to a doctor.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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