Effective Depression Treatment Using CBT
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has proven to be an effective treatment in minor depression, and a superior treatment when used as a supporting therapy for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).
Depression is a mental illness that can be costly and debilitating to sufferers, adversely affecting the course and outcome of common chronic conditions, such as arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Depression affects an estimated 1 in 10 U.S. adults and an alarming 1 in 20 in adolescents.
The observation that pharmacotherapy is able to induce remission in less than 50% of patients has prompted researchers to look beyond neurotransmitters for an understanding of depressive disorders. Anti-depressants are frequently prescribed to treat symptoms, not necessarily address underlying issues. Current research shows that combined treatments using medication along with CBT, improved rates of recovery (73 percent) offering the most favorable tradeoff between benefit and risk, compared to antidepressants-only. The impact of this treatment was most noticeable in those with severe MDD.
Dr. Steven Hollon, study author of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., said,
“Our findings suggest that CBT engages different mechanisms but that it likely does so only in some patients, and identifying these mechanisms may suggest ways to enhance treatment response. Future combinatorial trials should include comparisons with CBT alone to examine the viability of each monotherapy, especially given evidence that CBT effects persist beyond the end of treatment.”
The theme of cognitive therapy and collaborative care is greater patient care, really taking the time to work through the thought processes and outside risk factors in order to arrive at an effective treatment. Finding the right psychiatrist and therapist to work with, who will recommend a variety of treatments, makes all the difference.