- With Mayo Clinic psychiatrist
Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D.read biographyclose window
Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D.Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D.
Dr. Daniel Hall-Flavin, board certified in general psychiatry and addiction psychiatry, is a St. Louis native looking to the Internet as a way to help people improve their health and be more active participants in their own health care by learning from Mayo Clinic's experts.
Dr. Hall-Flavin served on the faculties of Cornell University Medical College, New York Medical College and The George Washington University Medical School before joining the Mayo Clinic staff in 1996. He has special interests in adult psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, pharmacogenetics and personalized medicine. He served as medical director of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence from 1986 to 1999, and is currently involved in translational medicine research involving the introduction of pharmacogenetic technology into the daily practice of community psychiatry.
"With the advent of pharmacogenetics and related fields and the advances in translational medicine, informed collaborative relationships between knowledgeable, capable health professionals and informed, proactive individuals and their families are more vital than ever," he said.
"I'm optimistic that our Internet health education activities will contribute to ever-improving health outcomes for all who participate and apply what is learned."
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Mild depression: Are antidepressants effective?
I've heard antidepressants don't work for mild depression. Is that true?
from Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D.
Antidepressants don't work for everyone. For some people with mild depression, antidepressants seem to have little effect. However, for people with more severe depression, antidepressants often make a big difference.
Although antidepressants generally aren't as effective for mild depression, that doesn't mean that they never help. Depression affects each person differently, and each person responds to medications differently. Finding the right medication may take some trial and error.
If an antidepressant seems to ease your symptoms, it may be a good treatment choice for you. If you're taking an antidepressant, don't stop taking it without talking to your doctor.
For many people with mild depression, talk therapy (also called psychotherapy or psychological counseling) appears to be an effective treatment. Some people benefit from a combination of talk therapy and medications. Lifestyle changes — such as stress reduction and regular exercise — also can make a difference.
If you have signs and symptoms of depression, don't ignore them. Even mild depression can take a toll on your enjoyment of life, your performance at work or school, and your relationships with other people. And, left untreated, depression can get worse. Explore your treatment options with your doctor or mental health provider to figure out what's likely to work best to help you feel better again.Next question
After a flood, are food and medicine safe to use?
- Vohringer PA, et al. Solving the antidepressant efficacy question: Effect sizes in major depressive disorder. Clinical Therapeutics. 2011;33:B49.
- Hegerl U, et al. Can effects of antidepressants in patients with mild depression be considered as clinically significant? Journal of Affective Disorders. 2012;138:183.
- Hegerl U, et al. Are antidepressants useful in the treatment of minor depression: A critical update of the current literature. Current Opinion in Psychiatry. 2012;25:1.
- Saeed SA, et al. Exercise, yoga and meditation for depressive and anxiety disorders. American Family Physician. 2010;8:981.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 12, 2012.
- Kung S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 20, 2012.