Effectiveness Of Talk Therapy To Treat Depression

Depression is a very serious illness. That’s why it is important to gather honest reports and findings about the topic. Unfortunately, if research does not yield great results, it is usually left unpublished and herein lies the main problem.

The Study and the Results

VU University Amsterdam’s Ellen Driessen, along with Vanderbilt University’s Steven Hollon, decided to examine this issue by conducting a study, similar to one done in 2008, involving the effectiveness of antidepressants. According their research, now published in the journal PLOS ONE, scientific literature has overstated the benefits of talk therapy as a treatment for depression. To conduct the study, researchers gathered data from thirteen pieces of research – all of which were funded, conducted and then never published due to poor results. From this information, they were able to conclude that talk therapy is 25% less successful than it was formerly thought to be.

Talk Therapy is still effective…

This is not to say that talk therapy is not an effective form of treatment. However, research that raises its negative concerns are generally unseen and not factored into account. The 2008 antidepressants study, as previously mentioned, revealed similar findings: antidepressant drugs also seem to be 25% less effective than previously thought. Today, the best and most successful form of treatment is believed to be a mix of talk therapy, particularly Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

What can be done to fix inaccuracies in the future

Going forth, researchers state that all finished studies, even the ones that do not yield desired results, should be published. They believe this will help correct the way that mental illness is treated and will ultimately help to eliminate bias, skewed in favor of the published studies. Furthermore, researchers emphasize the difficulty of treating depression as a whole; because of the instability of this disorder, it is very difficult to judge the effectiveness of the treatments that have been used or are currently in use. In fact, depression, along with a host of other mental illnesses, still has a cloud of stigma surrounding it. The best way to understand it and in turn, to combat it, is to look at depression from a variety of different perspectives.


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