Ask an Expert: Depression Treatments
< Ask an Expert: All Topics
- Is depression treatable? [0:34]
- How well do antidepressants work? [1:01]
- What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)? How does it compare to psychotherapy? [1:05]
- How effective is Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)? [1:06]
Learn more about depression treatments:
Depression Fact Sheet: English version (PDF, 748k) Spanish version (PDF, 796k)
National Institute of Mental Health "Finding Help": nimh.nih.gov/ health/ topics/ getting-help-locate-services/
NAMI page on finding support: nami.org/ Template.cfm?section=Find_Support
Dr.Peter Kramer, author of Listening to Prozac, blog: blogs.psychologytoday.com/ blog/ in-practice
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)? How does it compare to psychotherapy?
DR. CHARLES NEMEROFF: So of the treatments that are approved by the FDA, uh, the most effective treatment is, in the textbook at least, electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT. It's reserved for the most severe of depressions because it involves a considerable amount of medical intervention in terms of using an anesthetic, uh, and having the patient monitored closely during the treatments. It requires being done at a center. And it's often done three times a week for three or four weeks, so that it often requires an in-hospital stay.
Um, I say it's said to be the most effective because no pharmaceutical company has ever had the courage to do a study comparing an antidepressant treatment with ECT. And I think probably because they worry that they wouldn't be as effective. So I can't really say it's the most effective. Um, it's like being the heavyweight champion of the world. If no one wants to fight you, you never get the answer.