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C. Medication Effective in Treating Minor Depression

Narrator: This is Science Today. Minor depression, a moderate version of a more severe depressive disorder, affects about 15 million Americans and is often underdiagnosed and undertreated. Yet, a multi-center study has found that it can be effectively treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as Prozac. Dr. Lewis Judd, who chairs the psychiatry department at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, led the study.

Judd: So there is hope for people a great majority of people in the hands of well-trained clinicians, eighty to ninety percent of people can be absolutely helped with depression.

Narrator: Judd adds that if minor depression is left untreated, it could lead to a more severe depressive disorder.

Judd: If you have a minor depression, it doesn't take much for it to escalate into a major depression. The issue is, having depression is not merely having the blues. It's a common and a serious illness and it has serious consequences if it's not treated.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.