Cognitive behavioral therapy may help cure treatment-resistant depression

Cognitive behavioral therapy may help cure treatment-resistant depression

Treatment-resistant depression has been posing a big challenge to psychiatrists. However, there is some hope for such patients. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) along with antidepressants may bring long-term benefits to patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression, a recent study has found.

The study, published online in the Lancet Psychiatry in January 2016, aimed at determining the long-term and cost-effective benefits of CBT. It found that CBT as an adjunct to usual care that includes antidepressants is clinically beneficial and cost-effective in long term for individuals whose depression has not responded to pharmacotherapy.

Lead author Nicola Wiles, Ph.D., Centre for Academic Mental Health, University of Bristol, U.K. was quoted by the Medscape Medical News as saying, “The majority of CoBalT participants had severe and chronic depression, so these results should offer hope for this population of patients. It is important that clinicians discuss referral for CBT with all those for whom antidepressants are not effective.”

In an earlier research titled “CBT effective in antidepressant non-responders” and reported by Medscape Medical News in 2012, study author Glyn Lewis, Ph.D., University of Bristol, said, “CBT works by helping the patient examine how he or she interprets events and so arrives at alternative and more helpful interpretations.”

The large-scale randomized trial found evidence that individuals randomly assigned to receive CBT along with usual care were more than three times more likely to achieve at least a 50 percent reduction in depressive symptoms in a year than patients who only received usual care.

Defining the gloom in numbers

Not all patients suffering from major depression respond to antidepressant treatment. In a study titled “Treatment-resistant depression: therapeutic trends, challenges, and future directions,” published online by the U.S. National Library of Medicine in May 2012, 10-30 percent of depressed patients do not improve or show a partial response coupled with functional impairment, poor quality of life, suicide ideation and attempts, self-injurious behavior and a high relapse rate.

Treatment-resistant depression poses a challenge to medical practitioners due to the high relapse rate and the multiple complex issues patients suffer from. The National Institute of Mental Health revealed that approximately 6.7 percent of U.S. adults experience major depressive disorder with women 70 percent more likely than men to experience depression during their lifetime.

The Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 discusses the following signs and symptoms of a major depressive disorder:

  • Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying spells.
  • Drastic changes in appetite.
  • Significant changes in sleep patterns (including insomnia).
  • Constant anxiety over trivial issues.
  • Undefined irritability and tendency to worry.
  • Constant fatigue (showing lack of energy and displaying indifference in day-to-day activities).
  • Inability to show pleasure in the most entertaining circumstances.
  • Inability to concentrate.
  • Social withdrawal and tendency of isolation.
  • Recurring feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness.
  • Constant complaints of body aches (especially pain in the lower back of the body).
  • Suicidal thoughts.

Delivering confidential health care for depression

Depression is a chronic condition. If left untreated, it can lead to severe co-occurring mental health problems. It’s better to treat it at the onset or as soon as you find symptoms of depression. Florida Mental Health Helpline can help you find a good treatment center in your vicinity. You may call our 24/7 helpline number 866-846-5588 or chat online to know further about the use of CBT as an effective treatment for depression.