What is the easiest depression treatment?
Depression is one of the common psychological health problems we face today. Governments around the world spend millions of dollars to treat this illness.
Is there any free alternative treatment?
This question was addressed by a new study. Dr. Elaine Boland and her colleagues conducted a study on the possible impact of sleep deprivation on depression.
The study employed quantitative meta-analysis. The data was extracted from several research papers since 1972 to 2016.
From the vast amount of research findings, the researchers found a significant result; sleep deprivation can decrease symptoms of depression.
This means that by depriving sleep, a person with depression will feel better. This technique is widely known as “Wake Therapy”. It involves staying awake at night without taking a nap or short sleep.
About 50% of the people with depression who did not sleep for one night found improvement. Many feel the effect in just 24 hours.
However, the effect may fade when a person sleeps again. The problem of this depression treatment technique is that it does not last long.
But since antidepressants do not take effect immediately, sleep deprivation can be used as a bridge. People can use this technique to quickly ease their feelings while waiting for the effects of the drugs.
Dr. Philip Gehrman, one of the authors of the study, concluded:
“More than 30 years since the discovery of the antidepressant effects of sleep deprivation, we still do not have an effective grasp on precisely how effective the treatment is and how to achieve the best clinical results.
Our analysis precisely reports how effective sleep deprivation is and I which populations it should be administered.”
But the good thing about this depression treatment technique is that it works for all age groups and gender. In addition, it does not also matter what type of sleep deprivation being used.
In conclusion, Dr. Elaine Boland, the primary author of the study shared her final thoughts:
“These studies in our analysis show that sleep deprivation is effective for many populations.
Regardless of how the response was quantified, how the sleep deprivation was delivered, or the type of deprivation the subject was experiencing, we found a nearly equivalent response rate.”
The authors, however, suggest further studies to determine the possible moderating factors.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.