Cognitive Change Better than Medication for Anxiety, Says Study
A Japanese study states that cognitive therapy maintained its effects more than a year after the end of therapy for patients with a social anxiety disorder (SAD) even for those who did not respond to antidepressant drugs.
Dr. Naoki Yoshinaga and Dr. Eiji Shimizu, professor have applied cognitive therapy, which is a Western origin psychological therapy, for patients with SAD in Japan since 2011.
SAD, also known as social phobia, is a mental disorder characterized by a significant amount of anxiety or fear in social situations, such as talking in front of many people or speaking with strangers, causing considerable distress and functional disability in daily life.
SAD is one of the most prevalent mental disorders, typically has early onset, and follows a chronic course because of the low natural recovery rate.
Although antidepressants are an effective treatment commonly used for SAD, some patients fail to remit following these drugs.
The study showed that in refractory patients who received 16-weeks of cognitive therapy, a substantial improvement in social anxiety symptoms occurred during the intervention period, and these improvements were well-maintained until the end of the one-year follow-up.
At the one-year follow-up assessment, 85.7% (18/21) of patients were judged to be responsive to the treatment, and 57.1% (12/21) met the remission criteria.