Psychotherapy for depression

Depression can’t be treated without psychotherapy. The patients aspire themselves to this form of medical and psychological help. For a long time they hesitate to take medications, and starting with antidepressants they quite often stop pharmacotherapy. By virtue of helplessness and constant doubts, patients are usually suggestible. While reading annotations to one or another remedy, they easily find by themselves some side effects already in first days of the treatment. Besides, the patients suffering from depression have functional disturbances of internals, and thereby, they are really sensitive to side effects of this medication.

Many patients experience false alarm regarding constant dependence on antidepressants. Considerable part of patients, suffering from depression, belong to placebo-reactor, i.e. people who are easily susceptible even for pills, which do not contain some active pharmaceutical substances. All just-listed determine heighten interest of such patients in psychotherapy.

The telling argument, testifying the role of psychotherapy in depression treatment, are those experimental data, which show the importance of psychological factors in the formation of therapeutic resistance to medical products. The effective course of psychotherapy in the long term is possibly more useful than pharmacotherapy, because it teaches the patient. The last one acquires the skills to overcome the depression, learns to recognize its approximation and prevents its recurrence. According to the results of many studies, the normalization of endocrine indicators in the therapy of depression is achieved not only in the process of treatment with antidepressants, but also in psychotherapy. The influence of the psychotherapy on endocrine indicators are observed both in the case of its combination with pharmacological therapy, and in the case of using it as the only method of treatment.

In a number of cases, psychotherapy allows patients to adjust to reality with the continuing violations of affection, thinking and attitudes. With an independent therapeutic effect, psychotherapy promotes the optimal collaboration of the patient and physician, raises the efficiency of medical treatment, and improves family relationships and professional status of the patient.

Frequent start of depression after acute trauma or prolonged stress leads to a persistent search of psychological reasons of its occurrence. This situation increases the desire of patients to psychological care. However, excessive revaluation of its capacity, unfortunately, can lead to a complete denial of psychotropic substances, formation of resistant and prolonged depression variants, cause her early exacerbations.

In respect to a doctor, the psychotherapy of depression first of all should be aimed at elimination of its symptoms. Some of them are more sensitive to psychotherapy, and other are relatively difficult to its impact. It is generally believed that by severe depressions psychotherapy’s possibilities are more limited than in cases of slight disease.

As psychotherapeutic targets are chosen mood disorders, paralogia, behavioral disorders, motivation and physiological symptoms. Among affective symptoms – are sadness, sense of guilt and shame and especially anxiety.

There are a number of general principles of operation which have a psychotherapist with a patient suffering from depression. Here the doctor’s control over his own feelings regarding to patient is very important, because of the possible sense of futility, anger, excessive fatigue and sympathy. Psychotherapist not only sympathizes with the patient, but he also carefully observes him, keeping some distance. During the therapy doctor should strictly regulates communicating time with patient and maintains the structure of the momentum to recovery. Active statements of the purposeful questions, confidence in the diagnosis, the real hope are basic rules of depression treatment. The studies have shown that hope, which was received from a doctor, is retrospective by patients and taken as an important help in overcoming a depression.

The peculiarity of work with a patient depression is not so much empathy, as understanding the condition, and in particular, the possibility of change of mood. Often patient aspire to «petrify» the psychotherapist by means of his endless waiting for assistance, and the latter makes an error, starting with theoretical explanations and searches of psychological reasons of depression. In fact, the psychotherapist must ensure that the patient drew attention to himself and seek adequate perception of his situation. A particularly undesirable conversation with the patient is about the symptoms of his condition. More important is to emphasize the dependence of the expression of different situations, to talk about the features and relationships with other people. Psychotherapist’s compassion is usually increases by patient the waiting for assistance, an attempt to ease the symptoms lead to its strengthening, consolation – to inconsolable. It is important to bring the patient to the need for self-help, but not comfort him, show him the importance to understand himself as he is.

For depression treatment it were proposed different methods of psychotherapy:

  • Psychoanalysis
  • Person-centered psychotherapy
  • Existential therapy
  • Interpersonal therapy
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Reminiscence therapy
  • Projection variations with time
  • Relaxation training
  • The therapy of social problems and other methods of psychotherapy.
  • Including its mixed and eclectic variants.

According to the most researches the most effective method by depression treatment is cognitive therapy, focusing on correct mindset characteristics of patients suffering from depression.

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