Study: Mild Sadness Can Trigger Depression Relapse
> 7/13/2006 1:29:53 PM

A new report in the Archives of General Psychiatry helps to shed light on how different depression treatments and sad mood stimuli can combine to exacerbate depression relapses. Researchers working at the University of Toronto treated a group of depressed volunteers with one of two potential depression treatments: either antidepressant medication or cognitive behavior therapy. From this group, those that achieved clinical remission of their symptoms were put into a second group to proceed to the next part of the study. During the 2nd phase, the group was given sad mood provocation and monitored for 18 months. They were asked to recall a truly sad memory while listening to the orchestral introduction to "Russia Under the Mongolian Yoke" by Prokofiev, played at slow speed, which previous studies have shown to bring on unhappy moods.

While relapse was shown to be a risk in both the antidepressant and CBT groups, as the Reuters story points out, those who took antidepressants didn't fare as well.

Compared with patients who underwent cognitive behavior therapy, those who received antidepressant medication showed a greater tendency to have depressive thoughts after mood provocation. The magnitude of the mood-linked response predicted relapse during the 18 months, regardless of the type of previous treatment.

In the field, it is virtually impossible to prevent those who are recovering from depression from encountering sad mood provocation. We never know what may be waiting for us around the next corner. But what this new information does remind us of is the importance of therapy in the depression treatment process. It also might serve as a reminder to avoid listening to Prokofiev's "Russia Under the Mongolian Yoke" under any circumstances.


This study is enchanting. I've known people complain that Stockhausen plunges them into the depths of despair - I've even heard the same said about Leonard Cohen (of course) and the Gary Jules version of Mad World, but I've never heard it about Prokofiev.Any other suggestions for absolute downers? Or does it all depend on whether or not you ever went through the agony of having a break-up song (a la Bridget Jones).Best - Tony
Posted by: Happystance 7/25/2006 9:59:15 AM

Post Your Comments

Post a comment
Email Address:
Verification Code:
Input the 8 characters you see above:


Drug Abuse
Sexual Addiction
Eating Disorders
Alzheimer's Disease

About TOL | Contact Us | Defining Behavioral Fitness | For Healthcare Professionals | Links | Privacy Policy