The prevalence of depressive disorders calls for standardized and concerted efforts to handling the disease, thus, there is a need for a resource on how to manage the ailment. The guide by Gundlach and Dampier (2010), published by the American Psychiatric Association, identifies the symptoms to mind when diagnosing patients with mental illnesses. The authors recommend “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), mirtazapine, and bupropion” as the best first choice for the treatment of psychological conditions (Gundlach and Dampier, 2010, p. 2). Gundlach and Dampier (2010) point out that the medicines that should be avoided by patients with mental disorders include “first-line treatment with nonselective monoamine oxidase substances (MAOIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)” (p. 2). They recognize that care regimes for depressive disorders depend on the patient’s age, medical care setting, comorbidities, concurrent pharmacotherapy, and adverse events.
The guide then focuses on the treatment of mental conditions and post-diagnosis care. Gundlach and Dampier (2010) first caution clinicians against failing to check for cardiovascular side effects that include hypertension, hypertensive crisis, and increased cholesterol, when treating depressive disorders. They then review the management of anticholinergic reactions and recommend the ways to manage neurologic side effects among which are headaches, Myoclonus, and seizures. The authors point out that patients under medication for mental illness often experience arousal, erectile and orgasm dysfunctions, and priapism (Gundlach and Dampier, 2010). Hence, clinicians should cease treatment and medication or attempt alternative antidepressants when these side reactions persist. Ultimately, Gundlach and Dampier (2010) advise on treatment responses when the patient fails to improve in 4 and 8 weeks and during the continuation phase that is after 4 months. To effectively manage depressive disorders, the authors indicate that clinicians should consider alternative diagnoses and constantly review comorbidities and psychosocial factors for each patient (Gundlach and Dampier, 2010). They should, in addition, have their treatment plans assessed or be subjected to cognitive behavioral therapy; however, they can execute their treatment plan unless three or more side effects show.
Gundlach, A., & Dampier, K. (2010). American Psychiatric Association practice guidelines for the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder. [PDF document]. Web.