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April 8, 1983

Treatment of Depression

JAMA. 1983;249(14):1824. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330380022005

To the Editor.—  We wish to reply to Dr Uhlenhuth's editorial (1982; 248:1879) commenting on "Treatment Received by Depressed Patients" (1982;248:1848).Our first point of disagreement with Dr Uhlenhuth concerns his pessimism that education is unlikely materially to affect depressed persons, particularly if his opinion is based primarily on data from the two studies he cites on the "ineffectiveness of patient package inserts"1 and "the analysis of alternative designs for estrogen leaflets."2 We have in mind a much more visible and broadbased approach to making the public aware of the symptoms of depression and the availability of effective medication, such as the planned National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) program on project depression. We believe that increasing the likelihood that patients will seek help is a necessary first step toward a successful therapy.With regard to determining the adequacy of diffusion of current knowledge about antidepressants among physicians,