Depressed patients frequently tell me, "I take the antidepressant drug and it helps, but I still feel depressed." or "The meds help for awhile but then they stop working. The doctor changes me to another medication. It works for awhile and then it stops working."
What is the answer? A new study may give us part of the answer -- cognitive therapy.
Cognitive therapy helps the depressed person identify and change attitudes that contribute to his or her depression. Participants in cognitive therapy also learn coping skills.
In a recent study a group of 158 patients with major depression were treated using either medication alone or medication plus cognitive therapy. Guess which group showed the most improvement?
If you guessed the medication plus cognitive therapy group, you were right.
The patients that were treated using medication plus cognitive therapy experienced more improvement in overall severity of their depression, in specific psychological symptoms including guilt, self-esteem and hopelessness and in social functioning including dependency on other people, interpersonal behavior and social friction.
If you are struggling with depression you owe it to yourself to learn how to change the depressive thinking and behaviors that may be adding to your symptoms. Cognitive therapy may just what you need to get the improvement you desire.
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