One of the leading causes of disability in the U.S. is major depressive disorder (MDD), affecting more than 16.1 million adults each year. Another perhaps more shocking statistic is that about 80% of those people never seek treatment, for various reasons. However, one of the main reasons why so many individuals fail to seek treatment is because of the stigma associated with having a mental health condition. A stigma that, unfortunately, is alive and thriving in our society today.
The recent FDA approval of the use of esketamine for treatment-resistant depression means many Americans suffering will soon find relief. The drug, Spravato, was approved for patients who have failed to respond at all to at least two other antidepressant medications. After years of clinical trials, the decision to officially approve Spravato took a month before a panel of experts voted in favor of the new treatment. Since treatment-resistant depression plagues so many among us, this new treatment has generated tremendous hope for depression sufferers, their loved ones, and their mental health clinicians.