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Severe depression successfully treated with cognitive behavioural therapy

Published on 12/12/2012

Patients with depression who fail to respond to medication could be successfully treated using cognitive behavioural therapy, according to a new study.

Up to two thirds of people with depression do not respond to anti-depressants

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of talking treatment that focuses on the ‘here and now’ problems and difficulties. CBT has been shown to help with many different types of problems, including anxiety, OCD and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In the latest study, 469 patients with treatment-resistant depression were followed for 12 months as they were treated in GP practises in Bristol, Exeter and Glasgow.

Half of the patients continued with their normal care from their GP, which could include anti-depressants. The other group were also treated with cognitive behavioural therapy, spending one hour a week with a clinical psychologist.

Writing in the Lancet journal, the researchers found that 46 per cent if those who had received CBT reported at least a 50 per cent reduction in their symptoms after six months. 22 per cent of the other group experienced the same reduction.

The patients who were treated with CBT maintained improvements for a period of 12 months.

Up to two thirds of people with depression do not respond to antidepressants, and the charity Mind said patients should have access to a range of treatments such as CBT.

Researcher Chris Williams, professor of psychosocial psychiatry at the University of Glasgow, said: "The research used a CBT intervention alongside treatment with anti-depressants. It confirms how these approaches - the psychological and physical - can complement each other.

"It was also encouraging because we found the approach worked to good effect across a wide range of people of different ages and living in a variety of settings."

Although CBT is available on the NHS, waiting lists for treatment can be long- a report by Mind revealed that one in five people have been waiting for talking therapy for over a year. The cost of private therapy sessions varies, but it is usually between £40-100 per session.

One way of getting access to private CBT is through a health insurance policy. Private health insurance will meet the costs of talking therapies, as long as you have psychiatric cover. Compare health insurance quotes online now to get covered for conditions like depression.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  Medical
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