Reduction of dissociation level helps improve treatment response in depression and anxiety

Reduction of dissociation level helps improve treatment response in depression and anxiety

Treating depression or anxiety can become difficult at times due to the complex nature of the problem and the mental health of the patient. A recent study has suggested that treating feelings of detachment may help increase the overall treatment response in case of depressed people. The study, titled “Impact of dissociation on treatment of depressive and anxiety spectrum disorders with and without personality disorders,” aimed to examine the effect of dissociation on the effectiveness of treatment process in patients suffering from anxiety/neurotic spectrum and depression.

The study, published in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment in October 2016, noted that reduced efficiency of treatment in case of anxiety and depression was linked to increased dissociation rates at the commencement of the treatment. The observations indicated that lowering the feeling of dissociation during treatment helped reduce the grievousness of depressive behavior. The findings led the authors to suggest that doing away with dissociative attitude could help in formulating innovative treatment methods for patients with anxiety or depression showing resistance to treatment.

As part of the study, the researchers enrolled 840 people suffering from anxiety or depressive spectrum disorders who were not responding to pharmacological interventions on an outpatient basis. These patients were recommended hospitalization for a six-week complex therapeutic program. Of these, 606 patients were examined. Every patient was made to complete the Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, a subjective version of Clinical Global Impression-Severity, the Sheehan Patient-Related Anxiety Scale and the Dissociative Experience Scale.

The inpatient therapeutic program included cognitive behavioral therapy or short-term psychodynamic interventions involving single and group sessions along with the use of antidepressants and antipsychotics. The community sessions included drama therapy, progressive muscle relaxation, therapeutic methods involving use of art, mental imagery, occupational therapy and physical activities.

Greater response to treatment options reduced dissociation levels

The scientists observed that the mean ratings, for all patients, on all fronts had reduced to a great extent during the treatment. It was observed that 67.5 percent patients showed at least minimum improvement, 42.4 percent exhibited moderate improvement, thus, necessitating more scope in enhancement of mental health, while 35.3 percent managed to attain a state of complete retrieval from their mental illnesses. Also, the patients with no history of co-occurring personality disorders showed greater levels of improvement as revealed by low levels of depression when compared with those afflicted with comorbidity of personality disorders.

A higher level of severity at the initial stages of treatment indicated minor improvement while increased level of therapeutic change was associated with increased reduction of the dissociation level. Elucidating on the observations made, the authors wrote, “These findings are equivocal and show that changes in concrete symptoms cannot reflect the subjective meaning of the overall severity of the disorder.”

The scientists assumed that the treatment responses would depend on different factors like marital status, heredity and status of employment. However, no marked differences were associated with employment status. Marital status did play some positive role in anxiety, but not in alleviating symptoms of depression or overall seriousness of the disorder.

Treatment for depression or anxiety is possible

It is a big pain to live with depression or anxiety. The mental disorders affect the quality of life of the patient. However, timely treatment can help treat mental problems. If you know someone suffering from mental health problems, contact the Florida Mental Health Helpline to know about the best treatment for mental disorders in Florida. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-846-5588 or chat online with our experts to find out about rehab centers in Florida.