12:16am Monday 21 October 2019

Avoiding a relapse into depression

For people who have suffered from depression, the chances of recurrence get higher with each episode. Researchers at the Depression Research Laboratory at the University of Calgary are trying to find out why, and are looking into the connection between depressive mood states and how people who suffer from depression think.

“It’s based on the cognitive theory of depression,” said Laurie Ching, a doctoral candidate in the Clinical Psychology Program. “How you think, feel and behave are all linked.”

“We study the connection between how people think and what they feel. This work can inform our theory, and help to structure relapse prevention therapies. Learning how depression changes the way a person thinks and how they feel can help inform the development of programs to help people change these patterns in order to prevent a future episode of depression. It’s similar to how a person who suffers from a heart attack can alter their diet and lifestyle to avoid having another one.”

Keith Dobson, Head of the Psychology Department at the University of Calgary, said clinical depression is a major health issue in Canada, and that as many as 25 per cent of Canadian people will experience depression at some point in their life.

“Part of the burden of depression is also that many people who suffer from this problem have several episodes across their lifetime. Researchers at the University of Calgary are working to understand some of the factors related to the risk for recurrent depression. This information is critical in the development of prevention programs for depressed persons.”

The ongoing study is looking for adults between the ages of 18 and 65 who have experienced one or more episodes of depression but are not currently depressed. Those interested in participating in the study should call: 403.455.5963

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