While the chemical imbalance is treated by drug therapy, psychotherapy attempts to make a person understand certain faulty attitudes/social factors which makes the person vulnerable to Depressive Disease. Through psychotherapy, the person realizes this and actively changes them by his/her actions.

Treatment in Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy involves enabling the patient to adapt to the challenge, which he faces and make his own decisions as a part of the solution. The therapist helps the patient to clarify and examine the issues faced. This may involve the release of emotions appropriate to the situation. Having examined the problem, patient is helped to make a decision where necessary or to accept the event experienced.

Psychotherapy is non-directive in which the therapist does not instruct the patient, advise him or offer answers. The therapist’s skills are developed in encouraging the patient to think and talk about his circumstances.

Anyone and every one cannot give psychotherapy. A therapeutic relationship and the therapist's preparedness to listen to, emphasize with and accept the patient is mandatory. Therapist does not force his/her concepts on the patient (as most relatives do!). Facilitating techniques are employed by the therapist to enable the patient to disclose and discuss emotionally painful issues which otherwise might be avoided.

Psychotherapy can be individual or group psychotherapy or family therapy. Three types of psychotherapies have been most studied for their effectiveness in cases of Depressive Disease. They are:

  1. Behavior therapy: Which focuses on behavior
  2. Cognitive therapy: which focuses on thought and belief.
  3. Interpersonal therapy: which focuses on relationships.

All these therapies usually are used simultaneously depending upon the type of case (as given below). Psychotherapy usually works gradually.

In case of Sushma, her physical needs were totally fulfilled, but psychological needs were neglected by the husband, which led to frustration. The husband would hardly spend time with her. On Sundays (weekly off for the husband) either he would spend time with his friends or sleep off the day. The husband used to feel that if he gave money to his wife, his duty as a husband was totally fulfilled. During Psychotherapy, all these and other differences of opinion were discussed with an open mind. Both husband and the wife realized their faulty attitudes and changed their behavior accordingly. Their expectations were also discussed. This along with drug therapy resulted in rapid improvement. Within 6 months, medicines could also be stopped.

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