Mental Attitude: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs. Antidepressants

Only a third of patients respond fully to antidepressant medications and there is no consensus on what to try next. In a study of 469 patients from the United Kingdom who did not fully respond to initial treatment, 235 patients again received the usual care (antidepressants) and 234 again received the usual care plus Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a form of treatment that focuses on examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to find patterns in thinking that cause negative thoughts leading to negative feelings and self-destructive behaviors. 46% of participants who received CBT as an adjunct to usual care saw improvements after 6 months compared to only 22% among those who solely used antidepressants. Those in the CBT group experienced less anxiety, were more likely to go into remission, and experienced fewer and milder symptoms than those in the other group. The Lancet, December 2012