Depression: Causes and Treatment

Depression: Causes and Treatment

Depression: Causes and Treatment

Depression: Causes and Treatment

Synopsis

This second edition of 'Depression' will help patients and caregivers understand depression as a cognitive disability. It examines selective scientific tests and randomised controlled trials that have enhanced the cognitive approach since the time it was first introduced.

Excerpt

The first edition of this book posed the question, “What has definitely been established regarding the nature, the causes, and the treatment of depression?” To answer it, Aaron Beck sifted through thousands of clinical and controlled studies and summarized representative research on the clinical, biological, psychological, and theoretical aspects of depression. Of greater significance, he described an original research program that, in retrospect, represented a breakthrough in understanding the cognitive components and treatment of depression.

Like the first edition, this one presents an update and overview of what is currently known about clinical depression, including developments that have taken place since the book was originally published 40 years ago and, also like that earlier volume, offers a historical perspective. Moreover, in Chapter 16 we review the randomized controlled trials that have built upon and elaborated cognitive theory and research.

What is new to the second edition? Definitions of the mood disorders have changed over the years, and new categories have been added. We now recognize major depression as the leading cause of disability worldwide, and it has received increased clinical and research attention. In the years since the book was first published additional types of bipolar disorder have been recognized, and research has been conducted on the relation between manic symptoms and life events. New drugs, such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, have been developed. While comparable in efficacy (except in severe depression), they are chemically unrelated to tricyclic, heterocyclic, and other antidepressants discussed in the first edition, and they enjoy several advantages over those “first-generation” drugs. The newer medications can induce fewer adverse side effects and provide greater safety in case of overdose and improved tolerability and patient compliance. SSRIs may also be augmented with lithium, psychostimulants, and other agents.

There are even now many unresolved problems in pharmacotherapy. Drug treatment of depression—even using the newer SSRIs—still results in unwanted side effects, such as the sexual dysfunction that affects 60 percent of patients. There are potential lethal interactions between SSRI and MAOI

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