Pouvons-nous combattre la dépression ?

Si vous entrez l'expression " troubles de l'humeur " dans la plus grande base de données médicale en ligne (Medline), vous obtenez presque 62 000 entrées. Si vous restreignez votre recherche aux essais contrôlés randomisés, généralement considérés comme le modèle le plus fiable pour étudier l'efficacité des traitements, plus de 3 200 entrées sont encore fournies.

En tenant compte de l'énorme impact mondial de la dépression sur la santé, les coûts de soins de santé et la capacité à travailler, une telle mine d'informations devrait constituer une bonne nouvelle. Mais si l'on examine de plus près les études individuelles, il devient bientôt évident que la majorité d'entre elles étudient les troubles physiologiques, métaboliques ou biochimiques associés à la dépression. Aucune de leurs conclusions ne se révèle d'une aide quelconque lorsqu'il s'agit de décider quel patient doit être traité avec quelle thérapie sur quelle période de temps.

Bien évidemment, il existe encore environ 1 500 études sur une multitude de traitements : médicaments psychopharmaceutiques, électrochocs, lumière vive, exercice, psychothérapies, et même acupuncture. Il est vrai qu'un grand nombre de ces études documentent les effets à court terme, et dans certains cas à long terme, des divers traitements, généralement avec un compromis acceptable entre l'efficacité et la sécurité.

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