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Studies Show Psychotherapy Powerful at Preventing Depression

By September 23, 2013July 17th, 2019Uncategorized

A new study has found that behavioral therapy is a powerful aid in preventing depression. In fact, researchers believe that this therapy works better than antidepressants like Paxil or Effexor. The results of this study were published online on Sept. 4 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. During the study, researchers found that when adults come out of an acute depression, they are less likely to have another episode if they are receiving cognitive therapy for an additional eight months.
“Everybody did better than they would have if they hadn’t had treatment,” said study author Robin Jarrett, the Elizabeth H. Penn Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. “If you treat a patient with cognitive therapy and they do well, then the patient would have a choice: You could treat them with either fluoxetine or therapy.”
A second study was able to show that cognitive therapy worked better at preventing depression in teens who are more susceptible to developing the condition. The second study was also published online Sept. 4 in JAMA Psychiatry, and was conducted by researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital. This study showed that teens who were given cognitive-behavioral therapy were far less likely to have an episode of depression than the teens who were only given general care that often consists of drugs like Paxil or regular talk therapy, said Dr. William Beardslee, director of Baer Prevention Initiatives at the hospital and the Gardner/Monks Professor of Child Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
“People at risk for depression often have a very gloomy sense of the future and will misinterpret communications: I’m being rejected or those people don’t like me or what I do makes no difference,” Beardslee said. “What one tries to do is show that actions do make a difference, and do that in a gentle, supportive way.”
These combines studies may go a long way at giving doctors options other than dangerous drugs like Paxil or Effexor in treating and preventing depressive episodes. Paxil is a class of antidepressant drug called an SSRI, which works by changing the levels of serotonin in the brain. The drug has been linked to serious side effects including violent and suicidal thoughts and behavior. The drug is also known to cause birth defects in babies exposed to the drug in-utero. Some of the side effects linked to Paxil include PPHN, oral clefts, spina bifida and neural tube defects.

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