Can CBT totally replace anti-depressant medication?

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I have been reading and researching and so far, I have learned about amazing treatment derived from CBT (Cognitive |Behavioral Therapy). I was hoping to hear from anyone who has applied CBT in their lives and also has stopped taking Cipralex (or anti-depressant medication). I am hoping, for my daughter's sake, that indeed going for CBT can help one face and overcome their anxiety and ultimately equip them to manage or overcome depression?

Thanks so much.


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    Hi bernjd. Your daughter's fortunate to have you at her side - I remember my mum coming up with suggestion after suggestion and she never gave up. I'm eternally grateful because I think it made me keep fighting.

    I'm probably older than you and I have had MH problems from the age of 15. The fact that I'm using this forum shows I still have problems. But don't let that put you off hoping, always hoping - because there will be a treatment out there that will help your daughter. 

    There is a lot of evidence that CBT has good outcomes with certain MH problems. There are other therapies emerging that combine CBT with, for example, EMDR but there's little clinical evidence for their success, only anecdotal evidence. That doesn't mean they don't work. The difficulty is finding the right therapy.

    My advice to you would be to carry on your research but never put all your faith in one possible treatment - it may work for some but not for others. Your enthusiasm might also have a negative impact on your daughter if it doesn't work - she'll feel she's disappointed you and maybe blame herself, not matter how much you reassure her. I believe each person's anxiety/depression is different and there's no guarantee that this medication or that therapy will work. Equally there's nothing to say it won't. Hope is essential, even when you feel hopeless. You might also look at coping strategies like breathing exercises, Mindfulness and relaxation techniques. An arsenal of tricks like the paper bag breathing helps with confidence.

    I don't know how old your daughter is but the earlier the intervention, the more chance there is of a lasting solution, so long as the root causes are dealt with. She has a good chance doesn't she but - and this is the hard bit - it is her problem and her treatment in the end. CBT didn't work for me because, by the time it was available, my patterns of anxiety were too firmly established - but also because the cause of my problems was too deep-rooted. I am now undergoing a different form of psychotherapy and I can see positive changes in my thinking. So yes, it is possible to help people face and overcome their anxiety (I'm sure the depression is a consequence of the sheer exhaustion of anxiety) and manage it. I've had a long successful marriage and career despite almost constant anxiety and panic so please remain optimistic for your daughter - but with caution?

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      Sorry, it was late at night - my only excuse for misinterpreting what you wrote. The thoughts still apply though, just ignore the misdirection!
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