Cognitive Therapy Effective Depression Treatment
For the ones that are dealing with long term or recurring depression new therapy methods have been discovered. According to research published in The Lancet, cognitive therapy has been found to be as effective as anti-depressant medication.
The Study On The Treatment Of Depression:
The study compared mindfulness and open communication with a therapist, to the use of anti-depressant medication, in a volunteer group of 424 people diagnosed with clinical depression. Half of the group were prescribed medication while the other half were prescribed a period of cognitive therapy. Both groups were followed throughout the course of their respective treatments.
At the end of the period, it was found that 47% of those on medication had overcome their depression, while a whopping 44% of those participating in cognitive therapy had recovered from their diagnosed state.
This is an incredibly useful breakthrough as many people react negatively to the side effects of anti-depressant medication, or cannot be on long term medication for a variety of reasons. This study points us in a direction where we can offer an effective alternative to anti-depressant medication, one that has the potential to assist many of the people who have previously felt alienated from the recovery process.
“Mindfulness may be a new choice for millions of people with recurrent depression on repeat prescriptions,” says the research team from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, United Kingdom. “Antidepressant medication is the key treatment for preventing relapse, reducing the likelihood of relapse or recurrence by up to two-thirds when taken correctly. However, there are many people who, for a number of different reasons, are unable to keep on a course of medication for depression. Moreover, many people do not wish to remain on medication for indefinite periods, or cannot tolerate its side-effects.”
Nigel Reed, a participant in the study, shares his experience: “Mindfulness gives me a set of skills which I can use to keep me well in the long term. Rather than relying on the continuing use of anti-depressants mindfulness puts me in charge, allowing me to take control of my own future, to spot when I am at risk and to make the changes I need to stay well.”
What is Cognitive Therapy?
Cognitive therapy is a relatively short-term, focused psychotherapy. The focal point of this type of therapy is on how you are thinking, behaving, and communicating in the present moment, rather than on early childhood experiences. Cognitive therapy is action-oriented, practical, rational, and helps the patient to independently and effectively deal with real life issues.
Cognitive therapists believe that depression is maintained by recurring negative thoughts. These thoughts are known as automatic thoughts and are described as occurring without conscious effort. Examples of automatic thoughts that may occur, in someone with depression, are:
- I always fail at everything.
- I am the world’s worst wife.
- I am destined to be unhappy.
“Thoughts influence moods”, says Judith S. Beck, PhD, director of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research located outside Philadelphia. “Automatic thoughts may have a grain of truth. But,” she adds, “the depressed person distorts or exaggerates the reality of the situation.” This negative distortion helps fuel the depression.
The power of cognitive therapy lies in its ability to teach a person to recognize and correct negative, automatic thoughts. Over a period of time, the individual will discover and correct the deeply held, but false beliefs, which contribute to their depression.
“It’s not the power of positive thinking,” Beck says. “It’s the power of realistic thinking. People find that when they think more realistically, they usually feel better.”
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