Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

The demonstrated effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy in treating depression

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Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is often better than anti-depressant drugs. I picked up Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, by David Burns M.D., and read the following in the introduction:

The effectiveness of cognitive therapy has been confirmed by many outcome studies by researchers throughout the world during the past two decades. In a recent landmark article entitled “Psychotherapy vs. Medication for Depression: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom with Data,” Drs. David O. Antonuccio and William G. Danton from the University of Nevada and Dr. Gurland Y. DeNelsky from the Cleveland Clinic reviewed many of the most carefully conducted studies on depression that have been published in scientific journals throughout the world. The studies reviewed compared the antidepressant medications with psychotherapy in the treatment of depression and anxiety. Short-term studies as well as long-term follow-up studies were included in this review. The authors came to a number of startling conclusions that are at odds with the conventional wisdom:

  • Although depression is conventionally viewed as a medical illness, research studies indicate that genetic influences appear to account for only about 16 percent of depression. For many individuals, life influences appear to be the most important causes.
  • Drugs are the most common treatment for depression in the United States, and there is a widespread belief, popularized by the media, that drugs are the most effective treatment. However, this opinion is not consistent with the results of many carefully conducted outcome studies during the past twenty years. These studies show that the newer forms of psychotherapy, especially cognitive therapy, can be at least as effective as drugs, and for many patients appear to be more effective. This is good news for individuals who prefer to be treated without medications—due to personal preferences or health concerns. It is also good news for the millions of individuals who have not responded adequately to antidepressants after years and years of treatment and who still struggle with depression and anxiety.
  • Following recovery from depression, patients treated with psychotherapy are more likely to remain undepressed and are significantly less likely to relapse than patients treated with antidepressants alone. This is especially important because of the growing awareness that many people relapse following recovery from depression, especially if they are treated with antidepressant medications alone without any talking therapy.

Based on these findings, Dr. Antonuccio and his coauthors concluded that psychotherapy should not be considered a second-rate treatment but should usually be the initial treatment for depression. In addition, they emphasized that cognitive therapy appears to be one of the most effective psychotherapies for depression, if not the most effective.

It looks to be an interesting book.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 September 2015 at 10:58 am

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