Letter to the Editor: Depression Treatment Complex

By Richard Delewski

Editor:

I am writing in response to Casey Jacketta’s Aug. 22 column, “Utahns Are High on Prozac and Low on Life.”

Jacketta’s description of how depression is diagnosed (“medicalizing unhappiness,” as she puts it) is very incorrect. There is an applied method of differentiating between what is clearly clinical depression and what could be considered merely a very “bad hair day/week.”

Jacketta also refers to a theory about the cause of depression as a person being “wired wrong”. Though this has truth in application, the professionals that I work with do not accept this for every patient that they treat and very much consider environment as a contributor to the problem.

Additionally, Jacketta says that as a result of the so-called “new approach” of treating depression with medication, many patients are seeing general physicians instead of clinical psychologists. But this is not accurate. Patients who truly have severe depression do not spend their time with general practitioners. In my experience as a health care practitioner, the patients I have seen getting their prescriptions from general practitioners are usually either not following through with treatment adequately or do not fit the criteria as severely depressed.

Jacketta should also take care in how she applies statistics to the issue of mental health in this state as well as in the nation. She should know that Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft can be prescribed for conditions that do not have depression as their main focus.

Richard DelewskiHealth Sciences Center Staff