Monday, 21 January 2013

Self help books are an effective treatment for depression

We were pleased to see the recent news reported in the media that reading self help books can help treat depression:

"Prescribing self-help books on the NHS is an effective treatment for depression, a study suggests.

Patients offered books, plus sessions guiding them in how to use them, had lower levels of depression a year later than those offered usual GP care. 

The effect was seen in addition to the benefits of other treatments such as antidepressants, Scottish researchers report in the journal Plos One

Such an approach may help the NHS tackle demand for therapy, they said. More than 200 patients who had been diagnosed with depression by their GP took part in the study, half of whom were also on antidepressant drugs. 

Some were provided with a self-help guide dealing with different aspects of depression, such as being assertive or overcoming sleep problems. Patients also had three sessions with an adviser who helped them get the most out of the books and plan what changes to make. 

 After four months those who had been prescribed the self-help books had significantly lower levels of depression than those who received usual GP care.  

A year later, those in the self-help group were more likely to be keeping on top of their depression."

The human givens approach has always advocated providing depressed people with practical ways to help themselves. Goal setting and overcoming sleep problems are excellent ways of getting essential emotional needs met and rebalancing REM sleep, helping to break the cycle of depression.

Telling people what the causes of depression are, how to break the cycle of depression (see below), how depression is related to worrying and sleep and teaching practical techniques to lifting depression are all vital elements of human givens therapy.

The cycle of depression - essential for sufferers of depression to understand

Our own self help book on lifting depression has become a best seller, shattering many myths about depression and providing help for those suffering across the globe.

Providing people with good quality information about depression is the first step to recovery and, even if you're not depressed, just knowing the causes of low moods and being aware of how to ensure you are emotionally healthy can 'inoculate' you against future depression and ensure your life is full of meaning and joy.


Psychotherapists and health practitioners looking to help those with depression benefit from attending our two Human Givens College training days on the subject:

Understanding the cycle of depression: essential information and How to lift depression - a practical skills-based day


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