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03-29 Scientists find other therapies to be as effective as CBT for treating teen depression

Scientists find other therapies to be as effective as CBT for treating teen depression

Depression can affect anyone, cutting across age, gender, and social and economic status. However, various physical, emotional, psychological and social changes affecting the teens make them more vulnerable to depression. Clinicians treat depression using a combination of necessary medications and therapies that help patients get rid of the symptoms.

According to reports, nearly half of the affected teenagers run the risk of falling sick again. The fact that depression manifests itself a second time despite treatment makes it important to come up with treatments with a lasting impact that, in turn, would alleviate the possibility of becoming ill again.

Treatment for depression depends on the severity of the illness afflicting teenagers. A recent study by a group of researchers tried to assess the efficacy of various psychological treatment options in reducing the signs of depression in young people. Clinicians mostly prescribe cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to their depressed adolescents. As this nature of intervention may not be available at all treatment centers, most adolescents are left waiting, thus, worsening their symptoms of depression.

The researchers in their study titled, “Cognitive behavioral therapy and short-term psychoanalytical psychotherapy versus a brief psychosocial intervention in adolescents with unipolar major depressive disorder (IMPACT): a multicenter, pragmatic, observer-blind, randomized controlled superiority trial,” took into consideration three distinct approaches to depression treatment. The study, published online in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry in February 2017, looked at the efficacy of CBT, short-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy (STPP) and brief psycho-social intervention (BPI) in treating depression.

During the trial, CBT was a 20-session treatment that aimed to do away with the negative thoughts one harbors about oneself. There were 28 sessions of STPP and 12 sessions of BPI that tried to ameliorate the ability to control mood disorders while maintaining positive relationships. The BPI treatment lasted for a year and its aim was to educate patients about depression along with advising them about ways to tackle immediate problems.

Comparing efficacy of depression treatments

To compare and contrast the effectiveness of each treatment mode, a randomized trial was conducted on 465 adolescents diagnosed with symptoms of depression. The scientists tried to compare the effectiveness between STPP and CBT and check if both these specialized programs were in any way more effective than BPI.

The researchers revealed that two-third of the depressed participants from each method exhibited improvements and they continued to show the same effect for a year after the treatment. The scientists also observed that depressed teenagers refused to continue with the treatment once they were confident that they had recovered from their emotional disorders. The other reason for refraining from continuing the treatments was their innate belief that therapy might not be helpful in the end.

In addition, the costs of each treatment are not much different. Equal efficiency coupled with comparable costs meant more alternatives available for depressed teenagers. Looking at the present scenario where there is limited availability of talk therapies for depression, the findings can go a long way in helping young people with depression.

Road to recovery

As all the therapies are enduring in equal measures, getting treatment using any of the measures at initial stages will help alleviate depression levels and decrease the chances of a second recurring episode among youth. The road to recovery may be difficult but is not impossible. Depression is a major cause of economic and social liability not only in the U.S. but across the world.

At Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego, the Mental Health Program for adolescents offers help to youth in overcoming mental illnesses, including depression. Health care practitioners customize the treatment options keeping in mind the specific needs of every patient. They also educate them about various coping mechanisms and stress management methods. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-615-7266 for more information about our behavioral disorders program.

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