Dealing with mental illness can be one of the hardest challenges any individual can undergo. But for those who are just beginning to explore treatment options, it can be overwhelming to figure out which medications — if any — are right for you.
However, scientists are developing a way for individuals to test out which antidepressants will work best for them, as reported by the Huffington Post. The need for this test comes as a response to the growing number of young adults and individuals being diagnosed with various mental illnesses, like depression.
For many, the process of finding the right antidepressants can take years, often switching medications almost endlessly. This new test, which consists of two parts — the Early Life Stress survey and a brain scan — may be a gamechanger.
With this new testing process, individuals struggling with mental illness can find treatment options that fit their needs a lot faster.
Leanne Williams, psychiatry and behavioral sciences professor at Stanford University, had this to say about what the experimentation could mean for patients with depression:
“The disability and the real distress of experiencing depression often comes in the trial and error process that can go on for several years. My hope would be to improve the outcomes for people and get their treatments right the first time.”
Though this test is still in the experimentation phase, it could make a big difference for patients seeking options that will allow them to not only receive the treatment that works best for them, but also save money and time in the process.
Learning the best ways to manage and live with mental illness shouldn’t be a privilege for certain kinds of individuals — access to fair and successful treatments is a right that everyone has.
This test could very well make effective treatments a new reality for those living with depression and other mental illnesses.