New approach to depression could help those on Effexor

Getting treatment for depression can require different approaches for every unique individual.

Getting treatment for depression can require different approaches depending on the patient . For instance, medications like Effexor may be effective for one person, but fall short for another. In those situations, doctors may try combining drugs with other kinds of therapy, such as psychotherapy and holistic medicine, in order to find a solution that works with that person's biochemistry and emotional factors.

Researchers from several universities in the United Kingdom, including Bristol, Exeter and Glasgow, surveyed almost 470 individuals with depression and tested their responses to different treatments after medicine alone wasn't enough to curb their symptoms. Half of the group remained on medication regimen they were on before the study, while the other half of the participants received cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in addition to Effexor and similar antidepressants.

Combining modern and traditional treatments
The scientists discovered that people receiving both the drugs and CBT reported improved symptoms compared to the control group. Researchers found that nearly half of those getting combined therapy and pills said their depression was reduced by 50 percent or more, double what the control group experienced. This proves that, while medicines are effective in reducing or relieving depression in a number of patients, some still require holistic and therapeutic intervention on top of antidepressants. In no instance were any of the participants taken off Effexor and similar compounds. They simply received additional attention specific to their needs.

"This trial provides further evidence that psychological treatments like cognitive therapy can provide substantive and lasting help to people who suffer depression," said lead author Nicola Wiles. "These findings emphasize the importance of increasing the availability of psychological therapy."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that depression is a condition that affects people of all ages, races and backgrounds. In the United States alone, it's estimated that one-tenth of the adult population qualifies for having a major depressive disorder requiring medication like Effexor and other psychological treatment. Finding better ways to treat this condition is essential for the global population, as depression continues to be an inhibiting factor for large swatches of people around the world. Combining antidepressants with CBT and other holistic, personalized treatment solutions may be able to render the kind of substantive improvement in patient symptoms that could pose a breakthrough in how clinicians handle such cases.