Michael Thase, MD: Risk Factors for Chronically Depressed Patients

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Alcohol, stress, drug use, and not seeking help are all risk factors for chronic depression.

Identifying and forecasting when a patient might become chronically depressed is both crucial and challenging.

In a presentation during the 2022 Annual Psychiatric Times™ World CME Conference in San Diego on August 12, Michael Thase, MD, professor of psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, spoke about the need for more medications for treatment-resistant depression.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Thase explained how there is a segment of the population that the existing medications just will not work for them.

“For many people depression is a short lasting somewhat limiting condition,” Thase said. “Sometimes people can’t get out of it.”

Thase said one of the risk factors for this type of depression is substance use, such as drugs and alcohol. And the COVID-19 only exacerbated some of those issues.

“Rates of depression have gone up during the pandemic,” Thase said. “And since one risk factor for becoming chronically depressed is not getting help and since the pandemic has challenged the treatment capability of society, more people are not only depressed but fewer people are getting help. I am fairly confident we are going to have trouble ahead.”