Cognitive Psychotherapy, Exercise and Anti-depressants

Many of my clients suffer depression as a result of chronic pain and disability.  I fear, however, that many of them rely too much on antidepressants to try and control their depression. 

            A massive mega-study of the effectiveness of the antidepressants demonstrated that the positive effects of antidepressants were almost completely related to the placebo effect, at least among the moderately depressed.  In other words, if a doctor prescribed a sugar pill and told the patient that it was an antidepressant, it would work almost as effectively.  

            Whether we like it or not, dealing with mental illness requires hard work, which can often be very difficult for a person who’s depressed.  While there are probably many effective ways of dealing with depression, there are few methods known to be effective as a result of scientific analysis.  One is cognitive psychotherapy, in which an individual speaks with a therapist or trusted person to find practical ways to deal with their illnesses.  A second is exercise. For many people, active physical therapy either in a professional setting or at home is the best way to deal with depression resulting from a disability, whether the disability is work related or not.  

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