PWP: Episode 11- Abnormal Psychology Treatment Options for Depression

Hello everyone, I hope that had a good weekend.

Today's episode is on Abnormal Psychology and the treatment options for Depression.


Here are the show notes taken from more Abnormal Psychology book.


Chapter 5: biological treatment

So now that we understand how MDD is caused, we can start the last leg of our journey and start to understand how depression is treated.


Biology can be used to treat depression because of anti-depressants. These are drugs that tend to increase serotonin levels in the body and then a month later your symptoms start to go.


That’s basically all you need to know about the biological treatment, as well as drugs focus on restoring the chemical imbalance in the body.


Kirsch et al (2002):

A meta-analysis of published and unpublished data from clinical trials on antidepressants.

Results show that 82% of the effects of antidepressants are the same as the placebo.


In conclusion, when published and unpublished data are combined, they fail to show the effectiveness of antidepressants.


Critically thinking:

This study manages to get around publication bias; were only positive studies tend to get published; as they used both published and unpublished data, so the results are a fair and balanced look at the antidepressants’ effectiveness.

However, a meta-analysis can be flawed if there are studies used with the analysis that is an outlier compared to the other studies used. In other words, the study doesn’t include, or the results are very different from the other studies included. This can end up skewing the results of the analysis and causing the wrong conclusion to be drawn.

Therefore, it’s important that only studies that are related and suitable are used in the analysis.

Chapter 6: psychological treatment

Now we’re going to look at a very effective method of treatment, but it takes a long time. Its Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) the therapy is based on Beck’s theory and it focuses on restructuring your mental processes and behavioural activation in order to changes these automatic thoughts to be more positive.


Hollon et al (2005):

Three groups of patients with moderate to serve depression were compared.

They were people who had responded positively to CBT and had been withdrawn from medication for 12 months.


People who had responded and continued with medication.


People who had responded to medication and continued to take a placebo.


Their relapse rates in 12 months were: CBT- 31% Medication- 47% Placebo- 76%


In conclusion, CBT has a longer lasting effect than medication.


Critically thinking:

The study shows the effectiveness of different treatments well and as it was over a long time period. We know that the effects of treatments over a long period of time.


However, this study fails to consider the other factors that could have caused a relapse. I believe that other factors like social factors could have caused the relapse instead of the treatment itself.




I hope that you've enjoyed today's episode of The Psychology World Podcast.

Please feel free to leave a comment and sign up for my newsletter to receive your FREE ebook.


Have a great week everyone!

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