Self-help books are effective depression treatment

According to a new research study conducted and published by the National Health Service, self-help books can be a useful tool for people battling depression.

A randomised controlled trial (RCT) that was conducted individuals with depression in Glasgow examined the effectiveness of self-help books that are used in conjunction with the standard treatment for depression.

The research was based on the use of a particular self-help book that is based on the principals of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT examines how thoughts, beliefs and attitudes may be unfounded and dysfunctional which leads to a negative view of the self and of the world.

Cognitive behavioural therapy has been found to be beneficial to people who are suffering from depression; however, accessing therapist on the NHS is limited. Therefore, exploring other options of how individuals can use the principals of CBT on a DIY-basis is high on the priority list.

Individuals with depression were recruited from GP surgeries and were assigned to either receive normal treatment or normal treatment with addition of prescribed self-help CBT books. It was reported that those who also read the self-help books saw an increased improvement in their diabetes symptoms.

It should be made clear however that there were individuals with severe depression and those who reported difficulties concentrating for prolonged periods of time were omitted from the research so the findings could not be applied to all individuals suffering with depression.

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