Psychologists and neurologists still know so little about depression and doctors are baffled with how to treat it. What drug works for one person may not be effective for someone else. Mental illness is tricky because no two brains are ever identical. Luckily, a new study has revealed a new treatment that could cure symptoms of depression in 70-80% of individuals.
MCT, or metacognitive therapy, is a special type of therapy that focuses on the thought process of patients, especially the aspects of rumination, worry, and anxiety. Apparently, MCT has been around since the 1990s, but it isn't until now that psychologist are starting to realize the treatment's potential.
So what is MCT exactly? It's a form of brain training that helps "reprogram" a person's negative thought patterns and bring them under control.
Stian Solem, professor of psychology at the Norwegian University of Science and told Health magazine: “Many of our patients have conflicted beliefs concerning worry and rumination. They experience that it is uncontrollable, exhausting, and dangerous—‘I can go mad,’ ‘I can make myself sick.’”
“In MCT we often start out with postponing worry and rumination (which most people are able to do) and later we use something called detached mindfulness,” he says. “It involves being aware of the trigger thought, but choosing not to engage in it.”
In a 10-week study by three different universities, researchers found that MCT cured the vast majority of participants from depression symptoms. Not only that, but very few patients reported relapses after the treatment concluded. The findings were groundbreaking for the scientific community, as no other form of therapy has been as effective.
Currently, the treatment recommended for depression in the U.S. is CBT, or cognitive-behavioral therapy. This type of therapy gets people to think about their negative thoughts and discover whether they're true or not. Some would say this isn't effective because it causes overthinking, which leads to rumination. This is the thing MCT is trying to undo.
Hopefully we see more studies done about MCT in the coming years so it becomes the norm in our society. Here's to a future without depression!
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