Alongside medication for depression, it is strongly recommended that patients attend clinical support sessions with a psychiatrist, or even psychotherapy. These allow the factors that trigger depression to be identified and understood, the illness to be managed and symptoms to be reduced or even overcome. Multiple sessions are necessary, with the precise number depending on the personality profile of the patient, the severity of the depression and the effect of the medications.
Psychiatrists and psychologists qualified to provide this type of therapy offer specific programmes and different styles of intervention: reformulating the problems outlined, role playing, individual exercises.
It is important to inform the patient of the benefits of antidepressants but also of psychotherapy. There is a significant risk that patients whose personal history and psychological suffering are not taken into account will find themselves alone, isolated and anxious when faced with their boxes of medication.
In this case, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be considered, with or without antidepressants. The therapist’s goal is to analyse the situations or the symptoms that accompany depression. They also identify the thoughts and reflexes that exacerbate depression, such as anxiety and phobias. By jotting them down on an observation chart, the patient can work through the negative feelings they are confronted with. The therapist works out a timetable of progressive tasks that allow patients with depression to view situations differently and little by little to free themselves from their depressive thoughts.
As they complete more and more sessions, the patient becomes more and more able to identify the problems that affect them directly. CBT allows rapid progress to be made, which improves mental strength and makes the patient less sensitive to triggers of depression.
For further information: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/Types-of-therapy.aspx