It’s always cause for celebration when depressed clients nears the finish line of treatment, feeling energized, empowered, and more content with their life. But it’s one thing to get people back on their feet from a depressive episode; it’s another to prevent recurrences down the road.
That’s why, according to neuropsychologist John Preston, author of Clinical Psychopharmacology Made Ridiculously Simple, the best offense for the recovering client is a good defense. More specifically, therapists need to instruct people close to the client to be aware of the first signs that symptoms are reappearing.
In this brief video clip, Preston describes how to alert the spouse of a recovering depressed client to be aware of the signs of recurrence, and how to use their experiences with previous episodes to judge whether depression is returning.
John D. Preston, PsyD, ABPP, is a licensed psychologist and author or coauthor of twenty books. He is professor emeritus of psychology at Alliant International University, and has also served on the faculty of the UC Davis School of Medicine.
“So many of these recurrences could be prevented if you can nip them in the bud,” Preston explains. “Oftentimes, a loved one sees it coming before the client does.” What’s more, he adds, is that loved ones often know the extent of the problem and can offer much-needed empathy and support. “We can’t underestimate the importance of this,” Preston says.
Did you enjoy this video clip? You might also enjoy Frank Anderson's article, "Beyond Chemistry," in which he explains the importance of asking clients about their relationship with medication before they take it, which he argues greatly assesses its potential efficacy. Or check out our issue, "Open Wide!: Do We Know What Big Pharma is Giving Us?" for more material on psychopharmacology.