ZocdocAnswersWhat types of disorders can cognitive therapy treat?

Question

What types of disorders can cognitive therapy treat?

I am experiencing depression. I am a 39 year old male. My wife just died. Should I try cognitive therapy? My friends have been very supportive so far.

Answer

I am very sorry to hear about your wife. It is good to know that your friends are supportive of you at this time. I highly recommend that you go to see your primary care doctor about this. I say this because it can sometimes be difficult to sort out what is the normal sadness of losing a loved one from true depression related to the bereavement. Your primary care doctor will be able to help you assess where you are in terms of your social functioning and help you determine if treatment is necessary. Complicated grief is a term that is reserved for people who are experience severe grief symptoms and difficulty moving on 6 months after losing their loved one. In this setting support groups and cognitive behavioral therapy have both showed significant benefit. Grief-related depression, on the other hand, is slightly different in terms of its symptoms. Your doctor will be able to help you figure out if you fall in this category. If so, there is definitely sometimes a role for medications to treat the depression. It is important to make a distinction between depression symptoms and grief symptoms, because the grief symptoms will not necessarily get better with treatment for the depression.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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