Depression: The Best Course of Action

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Depression: The Best Course of Action Many people occasionally feel “the blues”, but luckily, it is usually temporary. Unfortunately, “temporary” is not always the case. As characterized by the National Institute of Mental Health, “a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat and enjoy once-pleasurable activities” is defined as depression (“Depression”). Depression is an extremely common, widespread “psychoneurotic disorder” that affects 13 to 14 million adults in the United States each year (DeRubeis, Siegle and Hollon). Among a list of symptoms provided by the National Institute of Mental Health, difficulty in thinking, “empty” feelings, hopelessness, loss of interest, and in more severe cases, thoughts of suicide, could all be signs of depression (“Depression”). This disorder is an especially prominent topic because most episodes are brought on by negative life events, meaning anyone is susceptible to the disorder at any point in their lives. This contrasts disorders that are genetically acquired, and makes depression a disorder that is much more common and dangerous. Despite it’s prevalence today, depression is very responsive to treatment; the only argument surrounding the disorder is which course of treatment is the most effective, both short-term and long-term. Since the late 1950s, depression was most commonly treated through medication, such as antidepressants. Although prescription medication is predominantly used as the first course of treatment for major depression, many scientific studies have shown that therapy, such as cognitive and behavioral therapies, are much more effective, due to a change in patterns of thinking and behavior. Currently, depression is one ... ... middle of paper ... ..., Schmaling, K. B., Kohlenberg, R. J., Addis, M. E., . . . Jacobson, N. S. (2006). “Randomized trial of behavioral activation, cognitive therapy, and antidepressant medication in the acute treatment of adults with major depression.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74(4), 658-670. Harvard Medical School. “What Are the Real Risks of Antidepressants?” Harvard Health Publications, 2005. Web. 26 March 2014. Hazlett-Stevens, Holly, and Michelle G. Craske. “Brief Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Definition and Scientific Foundations.” Handbook of Brief Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (2002). Web. Parrish, Brendt P., Cohen, Lawrence H., Gunthert, Kathleen C., Butler, Andrew C., Laurenceau, Jean-Philippe, Beck, Judith S. “Effects of Cognitive Therapy for Depression on Daily Stress-Related Variables.” Behavior Research and Therapy 47 (2009): 444-448.

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