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Effectiveness Of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essay

3685 words - 15 pages

Many individuals at some point in their lives may report feelings of extreme sadness or simply “feeling depressed”. However, such feelings are only one of seven symptoms recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV). Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is one of three primary clinical forms of depression recognized by the DSM-IV. The DSM-IV recognizes the following seven symptoms as indicative of Major Depressive Disorder: (1) significant weight loss (while not trying to lose weight), significant weight gain, or change in appetite; (2) insomnia or hypersomnia; (3) psychomotor agitation or retardation; (4) fatigue or loss of energy; (5) feelings of worthlessness or excessive or ...view middle of the document...

, 2008, chap. 8). The first criterion is commonly reported by individuals that may casually report “feeling depressed” or “sad”. The second through sixth criteria are behavioral/physiological symptoms of depression and the seventh through ninth criteria are cognitive symptoms of depression. Therefore, it is possible for an individual to experience predominantly behavioral symptoms or cognitive symptoms and receive a diagnosis of MDD (Craighead et al., 2008, chap. 8). Both categories of symptoms of depression (some criteria more than others) are not usually accredited to MDD by the casual reporter however these symptoms can significantly hinder an individual in daily routine.
Major Depressive Disorder is a mental disorder commanding much attention given that it is one of the most prevalent disorders among adults. There are a wide variety of treatments available for those suffering from MDD: Psychotherapy (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Pharmacotherapy (Anti-Depressants), and Traditional Chinese Medicine (acupuncture). It is the intention of this paper to present comparative studies that show the effectiveness of these treatments in preventing relapse and treating the symptoms of depression. Theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (specifically acupuncture) will also be presented, as well as comparative studies testing the efficacy of electro-acupuncture and pharmacotherapy on depression.
CBT and Anti-Depressants: Treating Symptoms and Preventing Relapse
Many individuals would prefer the ease of “popping a pill” to rid away illness or as a means of treating an illness. To date, medication is the most frequently applied treatment for depression (Craighead, Ritschel, Arnarson, & Gillespie, 2008, chap. 8). There are five classes of medication used to treat depression: monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and atypical antidepressants (Craighead et al., 2008, chap. 8).
Clinical research has proven that short-term, evidence-based treatments for depression are effective in reducing symptoms of depression, however many patients still remain vulnerable to relapse after the completion of treatment (Hawley, Zuroff, Ho, & Blatt, 2007). Antidepressants have been shown to prevent relapse of major depressive symptoms for as long as the medication is taken (Dobson, Dimigjian, Kohlenberg, Rizvi, Hollon, & Schmaling et al., 2008). However, there is little evidence to show that having taken antidepressants does anything to alter the risk factors leading to subsequent relapse and recurrence of depressive symptoms (Dobson, et al., 2008). Patients suffering from chronic or recurrent depression are encouraged to receive antidepressant medication indefinitely (Dobson, et al., 2008). Due to potential side effects, dangerous drug interactions, and some patients’ preferences for non-pharmacological treatments,...

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