Treatment of bereavement-related depression and traumatic grief.
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In the bereaved, approximately 40% meet criteria for major depression within a month of the death. At a year, approximately 15% of the bereaved are depressed and at 2 years, the figure is approximately 7%. Open-label trials of medication for bereavement-related depression have shown promising results for desipramine, nortriptyline, and bupropion SR. One double-blind controlled trial supports the use of nortriptyline, but interpersonal psychotherapy did no better than placebo. In all these trials, depressive symptoms improve more than bereavement symptoms. Effective open-label treatments for traumatic grief include paroxetine, nortriptyline, and a form of psychotherapy called traumatic grief treatment.