Sunday, 2 June 2013

Can a self-help book aid depression? Can a self-help book aid depression? BBC Health reports that a study suggests prescribing self help books on the NHS is an effective treatment for depression. More than 200 patients who have been diagnosed with depression by their GP took part in the study. Half of these will also on anti-depressant drugs. Some were provided with a self help guide dealing with different aspects of depression. Patients also had three sessions with an advisor who helped them get the most out of the books and plan what changes to make. Those who have been prescribed the self help books had significantly lower levels of depression after four months than those who received usual GP care.

A year later those in the self-help group were found to be more likely to keep on top of their depression.

Sessions can be delivered in general practice without the patient being referred to a specialist. This in turn takes the pressure off waiting lists. This approach is worth investing and has been estimated that it could save the NHS up to £272 million and the wider public sector £700 million.

A consultant in adult psychiatry said the results show that self-help is effective and is something the NHS should be investing in.

Depression saps people's motivation and makes it hard to believe change is possible but these trials have had a really significant clinical impact and the results of very encouraging.

The consultant is currently advising on a national books on prescription scheme to be rolled out across the UK's public libraries this year. Self-help would not be suitable for everybody has the patient must be committed to doing some work.

Andy Cox of Assured Effects Hypnotherapy in Poole Bounemouth Dorset said this is a significant study. When clients come to see me for hypnotherapy self-help is always encouraged. This is done by way of training in self hypnosis and following easy and fun exercises. This significantly reduces the number of hypnotherapy session needed and speeds the clients recovery time and makes the changes more long lasting.

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