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Depressed? Net-based Treatments Can Help 154

Jung and the Restless writes "Researchers at an Australian university have found that regular visits to therapeutic and educational web sites can successfully treat depression. Researchers directed patients to The MoodGYM, a cognitive behavior therapy site, and BluePages, a depression education site. After 12 months, users of both web sites reported improvement, with the educational site working out better than the behavior therapy site. A psychotherapist who did not participate in the study says that the results aren't all that surprising. 'Cognitive behavioral strategies — sometimes in conjunction with medication — are the most effective means of treating depression,' and 'a person who is visiting an educational site like BluePages is taking the necessary steps with her own self-care. That's a key component of successful treatment for depression'"
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Depressed? Net-based Treatments Can Help

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  • by Ed Avis ( 5917 ) <ed@membled.com> on Friday October 27, 2006 @03:39AM (#16605984) Homepage
    As the article points out, someone who visits any website at all is taking steps to deal with their depression and so you'd expect them to get better. Surely they needed a placebo website, with 'neutral' content, that could act as a control group. They get a little of that by comparing one website against another, but they haven't shown that either is a better choice than just browsing. They could even be a bit worse.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 27, 2006 @03:40AM (#16605988)
    I'm one of those depressed people psychologists treat (I've been more than I can remember in the last twenty five years) and while cognitive behavioural therapy is one of the big tools in their arsenal, I'm afraid most of them consider CBT + Antidepressants to be the ONLY tool they'll use. It's done little to help me, yet when I see a psych, it's more laying on thick CBT with another round of antidepressants. My past experience with it is ignored, and they'll go so far as to say I'm clearly getting better despite evidence to the contrary.

    Moving sideways for an analogy, it's like going into hospital with a stab wound and being given aspirin. When that doesn't work, more aspirin is given, and the doc insists it's better, despite nothing healing and the pain being just as bad. 18 months later, when the doc has done nothing more than to give more aspirin, I realise it's another bum move, and I try another doctor. The next doctor says he has just the right treatment... and whips out some aspirin.

    Psych training is pretty damned poor in Australia.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 27, 2006 @04:19AM (#16606192)
    I have depression too, and I found that meditation (specially shamatha [wikipedia.org] and vipassana [wikipedia.org]) helped me to understand how my mind works, seeing feelings as feelings, mind as mind, mental states as mental states.
  • by Overfiend1976 ( 979710 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @04:31AM (#16606258)
    Actually, I have to disagree with you here. For some things, yes, you can't treat with a placebo, but it can be done for many things. Proves ONCE AGAIN the true power of the mind. If you're convinced you're taking something that will help you, it can and indeed does help, even if it is a sugar pill.
  • by Cragen ( 697038 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @07:56AM (#16607100)
    I was medically diagnosed with Depression in the early 90's but I am pretty sure that I have been experiencing it since the 70's. I am still taking the meds so anything that follows may or may not make any sense. (I do make enough sense these days to make over $100K/yr, which is no way to judge a person's personal success, but it may be one way to judge whether I can function in this culture of ours.) I seem to have accidentally found something that actually works. At least, I am happy about it and that is saying something. In my quest to understand my depression, among the many ideas I have explored are various religions. I examined, practiced, and discarded quite a few. (Having something to do keeps one's mind busy.) I happened on the Buddhist philosphy of "totally caring for others", otherwise known as compassion. It seems to work. I now "fixate" on making other people happy (as far as I am able and I try to improve at that) instead trying to always make myself happy and trying to find "permanament" happiness for myself, which really is what we all seem to be trying to do. Well, at any rate, my family and friends seems to be happier. I find happiness in that. Good luck, Cragen
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 27, 2006 @09:49AM (#16608246)
    Have to post as AC since all of my co workers are reading this.
    I have been depressed for the last 2 years or so. I had no idea what was causing it and attempted to take care of it myself.(big mistake) My work performance was declining and the constant stress of completing a simple daily task was causing even more stress and anxiety.
    Last April I went to my Dr. and told him my issues, explaining that I had a serious case of loss of concentration, short term memory loss, extreme sadness, and wanting to turn my car into the divider every morning and night just so I could end my suffering. (I see another poster mentioned feeling the same way.)I was given the name of a therapist and called to make an appt. I was told that they could see me in about 3 months! WTF? I called my insurance company for an emergency contact number in an attempt to see someone sooner. They could not get me in for 10 weeks. I gave up at that point and went back to trying to fix myself. A few weeks ago it was unbearable and I went back to the Dr. He gave me some pills for anxiety and depression, and I made an appointment to see a therapist.(I still had to wait a few months for the initial appt.) if you get sick of code or IT, there is great demand in that job market. Back to my story! After about 4 weeks off of work and taking the meds with serious side effects, I started to think clearer. I am now in meetings and feel like a hawk, I can pay attention, I do not search endlessly for the right word to say ect. I would say this is a huge improvement. This also has caused me to be able to look at myself and figure out what is bothering me, what my issues are. There are many that I can take care of myself even before I go see the therapist in a few weeks. Unfortunately, I have realizes that my marriage has been suffering by the way my wife has been treating me for years. So I may finally get over the depression and be productive again. Just realizing what the issue was may have been denial, but I still could not figure out just what it was. I now feel about 80% better since I have identified what is causing most of my stress. I have recently confronted my wife with my feelings about our relationship and she agrees that she has issues in the way she interacts with me and want's to change it. The part that is killing me is, I know that people do not change. This is her personality & just the way she is. I hope we work it out, but I am not sure at this point.
    The moral of this rant is:
    If you are having issues, SEEK HELP SOON!
    Talk to your Doc.
    Do not put it off thinking you can take care of it yourself.
    Seek help from friends, co workers would not be a good idea as they will not understand if they have not experienced this condition and being labeled as a nut may lower your future earnings potential.
    Most of all know that you will get through it, but it will not be overnight.
    It made my day reading the other posters with similar issues, remember you are not alone or crazy. (does not apply to all slashdotters!) /rant
  • by accessdeniednsp ( 536678 ) <detolerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday October 27, 2006 @11:08AM (#16609250)
    Dude, you are soooooooooooo right. I'm not kidding.

    Been there, thought that,... even did some trajectory calculations and timings to see if the bridge was empty before I take it out. My problem was that I'm too considerate of others. I didn't want to go fuck up someone else's day. No need to be selfish and take myself out if I also end up smashing a lady's minivan with her 3yo daughter and 8yo son. That'd be stupid.

    So yeah. I guess I should score a 'win' for "traffic"? :) hah

    But I'm glad you made it back. I know it's tough (still is, isn't it?), but I hope you've been able to put some pieces back together and live good. I found it interesting when I lost all of my friends and then came back later to pick up some of those pieces and found all of it was changed greatly. Everything was almost unrecognizable. Very strange. But I liked it, because it gave me a chance to start over, in a way.

    Welcome back.
  • Moo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Chacham ( 981 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @12:10PM (#16610132) Homepage Journal
    Alot of depression is actually lack of sleep. Seriously. If someone is depressed, and they go to sleep, they will usually be happy. I'd even venture to say that the vast majority of depression cases would be cured, if they went to sleep for eight hours a night. Though, real results are seen after a week or two (as the body gets used to the rythem).
  • by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @01:11PM (#16611116) Homepage
    You can't imagine how it's like to drive on the highway with 90 mph and thinking "I might as well turn the steering wheel real quick and be done with it". For weeks on end. Every day.

    Psh. If you're gonna do it, at least do it right.

    An auto crash may seem appealing because it isn't obviously suicide, so your life insurance will still pay out. But if you pull in to a brick wall at 90mph, insurance is going to give your beneficiaries a very hard time in proving it was not suicide.

    No, if you want to do it right, you take out a big insurance policy, and set a date a year in the future. You plan to trade in your nice car for a cheap beater without air bags (why ruin a good car over something as meaningless as your life). You determine what weather conditions would be most conducive of an accidental crash (rain/snow, late at night, fog, road without good lighting). Then, every time you feel like shit and want to wreck on the way to work, you think to yourself, "oh just wait a year and I'll get to do this properly! And dear-old-mom will get a check for $1M." That should put a smile on your face and start your day in a good mood.

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham