Ian Colman, an epidemiologist in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, completed a study that examines the implications of long-term treatment methods. The findings suggest that those who receive treatment for depression have a better chance of recovery than those who do not. Colman believes that the positive outcome is the result of more than medications alone. Colman said, “It’s more likely that results from the study speak to the importance of getting evidence-based treatment, drugs or other therapies, in the first place and treatments that ensure that all of your symptoms are resolved.”
Colman also points out that clients must continue to receive proper treatment until all of their symptoms have ceased. “It’s common that depressed individuals will have a partial remission of symptoms where they feel better but some symptoms remain; those people have poor long-term outcomes,” he said. “It’s important to have successful treatment that deals with all of your symptoms.” Less than 50 percent of people who are depressed actually receive any kind of treatment. Most of those who do not are either in denial, do not recognize their own symptoms, or are in fear due to the stigma mental illness often has. Colman hopes that these new findings will lead to earlier intervention and will spur those suffering with these issues to get care.
Some of the treatment options that have proven to be successful include psychotherapy and medications. However, helping a client deal with extremely stressful situations and other triggers that exacerbate symptoms is best accomplished with psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy because these techniques teach a person how to rely on problem solving skills and other necessary tools. “Evidence suggests that cognitive behavioral therapies are as effective as anti-depressants, and the two treatments together is even more effective,” said Colman.
© Copyright 2011 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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