Depression is one of the most common problems treated at the Ändern Centre. The prevalence of low mood/depression in the general population is so high that it is often referred to as the 'common cold' of psychological problems.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is viewed as the psychological treatment of choice for depression by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. There is strong evidence that cognitive and behavioral techniques can bring about significant reductions in symptoms.
Common symptoms of depression include:
According to the World Health Organisation, depression is the leading cause of disability globally and is the most common psychological problem. 17% of the population experience major depressive disorder at least once in their lifetime. Yet less than 25% of sufferers worldwide receive treatment, and those that do often receive inappropriate treatment (W.H.O., 2010).
Untreated episodes often remit within 3 to 6 months, however many people suffer relapses, and 15-20% of sufferers find their illness taking a chronic course. It is a serious issue that has enduring negative effects on quality of life and is deserving of appropriate intervention.
Causes may be rooted in people's development, recent past or indeed more current life events. Fortunately, whatever the causes, cognitive behavioural therapy has been shown to be the most effective psychological treatment in numerous research trials. Unfortunately, depression is commonly a co-morbid condition (i.e. comes hand in hand) with many other psychological problems. Protocols suggest that such depression should be treated first as failure to do so can block progress in other areas.
Many people respond well to a combined treatment approach involving anti-depression medication and CBT, others can achieve results using CBT alone. The most common type of CBT, cognitive therapy, was originally formulated as a treatment for depression. However trials have shown the huge power of an even simpler form of CBT treatment named behavioural activation. This involves encouraging sufferers to challenge their withdrawal and avoidance whilst at the same time enhancing their lifestyle by deliberately engaging in activities and connecting with others. At the Ändern Centre we provide both approaches, as best suits the situation.
We all feel sad from time to time. In fact it could be argued that if we did not it would be unhealthy. However, nobody deserves the unrelenting, debilitating sadness associated with depression, and CBT treatment is strongly recommended.