081 Self-help books can help overcoming depression

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Self-help books can help overcoming depression

A new study suggests that self-help books are more effective treatments for the people who are suffering from depression than other treatments such as antidepressants. Scottish researchers claim that self-help book therapy along with guiding sessions on how to use the books is more helpful than usual GP care.

According to the report published in the journal Plos One, the researchers studied 200 patients diagnosed with different aspects of depression, such as “being assertive or overcoming sleep problems.”
They divided the patients into two groups; one who stayed in treatment with antidepressant medicines, the second group who was provided with self-help books.

After four months those who had been prescribed the self-help books had significantly lower levels of depression than those who received usual GP care. “We found this had a really significant clinical impact and the findings are very encouraging,” said study leader Professor Christopher Williams from the University of Glasgow. “Depression saps people’s motivation and makes it hard to believe change is possible,” he added.

While there are various self-help books for depression, the experts recommend only six books which are rooted in cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) or a psychodynamic approach. Both offered types are currently the most successful methods that psychologists apply for treating depression, experts say.

Feeling Good, Control Your Depression, Mind over Mood and Climbing out of Depression are among the prescribed books.

I – Word Understanding
Self-help – the action or process of bettering oneself or overcoming one’s problems without the aid of others
Depression – feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy
Antidepressants – a drug used to prevent or treat clinical depression
GP – A physician whose practice consists of providing on-going care covering a variety of medical problems (General Practitioner)
Assertive – Having or showing a strong confident and forceful personality
Prescribed – advise and authorize the use of (a medicine or treatment)
Significantly – having or likely to have influence or effect
Encouraging – give support, confidence, or hope to (someone)
Saps – knock out
Rooted – established
Cognitive-behavioural – psychotherapy that focuses on how thoughts influence mood and how some patterns contribute to depression
Psychodynamic – the interrelation of conscious and unconscious processes and emotions that determine personality and motivation

II – Have your say
1.Women are twice more likely to suffer from depression than men. Women may be at a higher risk for depression due in part to estrogen, which may alter the activity of neurotransmitters that contribute to depression.
2.Men typically experience depression differently from women and use different means to cope. For example, while women may feel hopeless, men may feel irritable. Women may crave a listening ear, while men may became socially withdrawn or become violent or abusive.
3.Depression is common among those with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.

081 Self-help books can help overcoming depression

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