Health A new holistic approach to anxiety and depression sparks a treatment rethink

A new holistic approach to anxiety and depression sparks a treatment rethink

An Australian researcher has shown a combination of psychological, dietary, lifestyle, social, and biological strategies may match the effectiveness of traditional treatments for some common mental illnesses in the short term.

Murdoch University’s Dr Adrian Lopresti is challenging conventional wisdom.

Depression and anxiety are usually treated with interventions like cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), medications or a combination of both.

Dr Lopresti notes the problem with CBT is that it doesn’t always target the factors that can contribute to a person’s depression or anxiety.

In addition, antidepressant medication can cause nausea, weight gain, fatigue, headaches, and sexual disfunction.

So, Dr. Lopresti has developed a new approach, called Personal Integrative therapy, or “PI,” targeting factors that are often ignored.

PI therapy uses psychological, dietary, lifestyle, social and other strategies to improve physical and mental wellbeing.

The study examined changes in sleep, diet, exercise and overall quality of life.

PI therapy was found to be as effective as CBT in treating adults with anxiety, depression, or both.

“These findings suggest that a brief integrative intervention … s just as effective as brief CBT in reducing the symptoms of depression or anxiety,” Dr Lopresti said.