Does CBT Work for Treating Depression?

Cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT has been shown to ameliorate depression by easing the symptoms in those patients who do not react in the intended way with chemical therapy. This is the conclusion of a piece of research published in the Lancet, the British medical journal.

does cbt help to treat depression?

What Is CBT?

CBT, is a derivative of psychotherapy. The report discovered beneficial effects in almost fifty percent of 234 people who were getting the treatment in addition to more routine care from their doctor.

Surprisingly as many as 6 out of 10 depressives do not get the anticipated improvements from the tried and tested anti-depressants (alternative treatments). Thus it is the opinion of the major mental health charity, ‘Mind’ that patients must be given access to a spectrum of therapies and drugs. CBT aims to talk and guide sufferers into a self-aware change of mind-set. In any given situation, patients are armed with a series of cues to alter, for the better, how they feel towards what is happening to them.

CBT is a ‘talk’ therapy that empowers people to alter the negative aspects of their self-esteem that are the precursors to negative mood states and destructive behaviors. The rationale behind it is that our thoughts and recollections prompt our moods. Depressives learn to select positive over negative thoughts and thereby improve their mood, self-image, actions, and even their health.

Research Study on CBT

The researchers in Britain tracked 469 depressives who were not responding to antidepressants. The subjects were selected from three different locations and medical practices around Britain. Within the research population a control group continued on their therapy program as normal while the experimental group were treated with CBT in addition to antidepressants etc. After half a year 46% of the experimental group self-reported at least a halving of the intensity of their symptoms. Only 22% of the control group had the same level of improvements. The researchers are clear that the psychological approach can complement the chemical approach.

In the year following the study, the patients continued to feel the benefits and the conclusion is that CBT definitely improved the quality of life of many people with these mental health issues.

Treatment Resistant Depression

But what of those depressives who did not improve with the addition of CBT to their care plan? They too were not improving with antidepressants but neither did they feel better with the talk therapy. It seems their condition was too severe or deeply chronic to be affected by one treatment alone or even a combination. A lot more research is needed into the differences between their condition and that of those who did improve. It was never likely that a single silver bullet treatment was out there waiting to be discovered.

Having said that, a lot of people did feel a lot better with just one hour every week, talking with a clinical psychologist about the way they think and how their mind works. So that they can change their behaviors for themselves, when not in the presence of a counsellor. Particularly encouraging from this study was the diversity of the patients that improved. All ages and a big variety of social settings felt the effects of CBT.

Claire Al-Aufi

Claire Al-Aufi is a contributing author for Hive Health Media who provides updates on health and fitness news.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.