Comparative Treatments of Depression

Comparative Treatments of Depression

Comparative Treatments of Depression

Comparative Treatments of Depression

Synopsis

American mental health researchers compare and contrast alternative models of depression and forms of treatment for it. The topics include points of convergence and divergence, cultural considerations, individual psychology, object relations, behavioral therapy, cognitive therapies, interpersonal psychotherapy, integrative conceptualization and treatment, and the psychopharmacology of major depression. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Excerpt

Major Depression is one of the major health problems around the world for people of all socioeconomic and educational levels. Depressive illnesses are devastating in terms of their morbidity and mortality. Absenteeism from work, diminished productivity, disrupted interpersonal relationships, loss of pleasure in one's activities, alcohol or other substance abuse, increased incidence of a variety of general medical illnesses, decreased cognitive functioning, and suicide are but a few of the hallmarks of this set of illnesses. Furthermore, the natural course is chronic and recurrent. Single episodes are not the norm.

This book is about comparative treatments with an emphasis on nonpharmacological models and treatments. However, before understanding how to best organize treatment programs for our patients, a fundamental understanding of depressive illness is necessary and, as many of the authors in this book say, a reconsideration and reevaluation of theoretical models is necessary, particularly implications of the different models for treatment planning. Depression is a complicated, multifactorial illness; indeed a set of illnesses. Clinical depressions are not all the same. Broadly speaking, when discussing treatments one could talk about comparative treatments for Major Recurrent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and Dysthymic Disorder as well as many subsets of the above. However, before going too far down this road, some understanding of the nature of the disorders is important. As in the case of most medical illnesses they are complex and some framework for understanding the multiple variables is necessary.

Several publications (Akiskal & McKinney, 1973; Akiskal & McKinney, 1975; Whybrow, 1984; Whybrow & Parlatore, 1973) in the 1970s and 80s for the first time proposed an integrated framework for understanding depression which related some of the individual models to each other and thereby provided a basis for combined treatments. There have been and continue to be many individual models for depression . . .

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