What combination of treatments seems to work best?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,587
    Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Dr. Kim Penberthy suggests combining medication with counseling to effectively deal with depression.

    Host: What treatment or combination of treatments seems to work best?

    Dr. Kim Penberthy: Well, what we have seen in the literature is that a medication similar to an SSRI or SNRI plus Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the most effective treatment and like I said, in combination they are almost doubly as effective as one alone. The medication works much more quickly than therapy does, but the effectiveness of the medication also stops when you stop taking the medicine. The therapy although, it's slower to take effect actually, works even after you stop therapy. So the idea with the therapy is to add coping skills and strategies in the ways of thinking and interacting in the world that will help resolve this depression long-term and help you stay undepressed or not depressed and help prevent relapses, but with the medicine, once you stop taking it, it really stops working obviously. So the effects of the medicine are over once you stop taking them. But you can see why the combination of the therapy and the medicine together would be most effective because one is going to work more quickly, immediately and the research shows it works on a different part of the brain than the therapy which kicks in a little bit later and works in another area of the brain and together they help recovery more quickly.