Talking therapy: A huge mile to reduce depression


Glasgow: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or simply talking therapy can reduce symptoms of depression in people who fail to respond to drug treatment, a study in the Lancet said.

CBT is a form of talking psychotherapy to help people with depression by changing the way they think to improve how they feel and alter their behaviour.

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

Professor of psychosocial psychiatry at the University of Glasgow and part of the research team Chris Williams said, “The research used a CBT intervention alongside treatment with anti-depressants. It confirms how these psychological and physical approaches 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,” Williams added.

The study followed 469 patients who were picked from General Practitioner (GP) in Bristol, Exeter and Glasgow over 12 months.

One group of patients continued with their usual care from their GP which could include anti-depressant medication while the second group was also treated with CBT.

After six months, researchers found 46% of those who had received CBT reported at least a 50% reduction in their symptoms.

This compared with 22% experiencing the same reduction in the other group.

The study concluded CBT was effective in reducing symptoms and improving patients’ quality of life. The improvements had been maintained for a period of 12 months.

From the Centre for Mental Health, Addiction and Suicide Research at the University of Bristol Dr Nicola Wiles said, “The addition of CBT was effective for patients who had not responded to anti-depressants. Some patients had severe and chronic depression so it is unlikely that one treatment would be effective for everyone.”