Therapy Equally Effective as Drugs for Front Line Depression Treatment & Helps Reshape Brain, Studies Say

The synaptic gap is filled by neurotransmitters like serotonin.

The synaptic gap is filled by neurotransmitters like serotonin.

New clinical practice guidelines advise physicians that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and second-generation antidepressants (SGAs), are equally effective treatments for major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) recommendation appears in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“Patients are frequently treated for depression by primary care physicians, who often initially prescribe SGAs,” said ACP President Wayne J. Riley, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., M.A.C.P.

“However, CBT is a reasonable approach for initial treatment and should be strongly considered as an alternative treatment to SGAs where available, and after discussing treatment effects, adverse effect profiles, costs, accessibility, and preferences with patients.”

Major depression is a medical condition causing sadness that interferes with daily life, not a normal reaction to life situations such as the death of a loved one or the loss of a job.

Symptoms associated with depression include lack of energy and loss of interest in things previously enjoyed. READ MORE.

ALSO  another new study supports the idea that CBT actually reshapes the brain

A new Swedish study finds that after just nine weeks of Internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy, the brains of patients suffering from social anxiety disorder change in volume and activity — and anxiety is reduced.

Researchers noted that the brain is remarkably adaptable. For instance, previous studies have shown that juggling and video games affect brain volume. But questions remain about how brain volume and neuronal activity in specific areas may change.

In the current investigation, a group of researchers from Linköping University and other Swedish universities studied how Internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT) affects brain volume and activity.

The researchers focused on patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD), one of the most common mental health problems.

For the study, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), was performed on all study participants before and after the ICBT intervention.

The researchers found that in patients with SAD, brain volume and activity in the amygdala decrease as a result of ICBT. Study results appear in the journal Translational Psychiatry.  READ MORE

Check out the Pastoral Solutions Institute’s tele-counseling practice for more information on  how cognitive therapy can help you overcome your struggles with depression, anxiety and other emotional problems.

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