Monday, August 15, 2011

Research shows the use of Affirmations overcomes anxiety and depression

Attributions and affirmations for overcoming anxiety and depression.
Psychol Psychother. 2009 Jun;82(Pt 2):153-69. Epub 2008 Dec 16.
Kinnier RT, Hofsess C, Pongratz R, Lambert C.

Division of Psychology in Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287-0611, USA.

Individuals who struggle with anxiety or depression often turn to experts for help in overcoming these disorders. In this study, we consult three expert 'populations': the popular self-help literature, well-respected therapists, and individuals who believe that they have successfully recovered from either anxiety or depression for their recommendations to those who are currently anxious or depressed.

In Part I, we content-analyse recommendations from 10 current self-help books on anxiety and 10 on depression. In Part II, we asked 17 respected therapists and 18 individuals who believed that they have recovered from anxiety and 23 individuals who believe they have recovered from depression what they believe are the 'keys' for recovery. We also asked them to rate the efficacy of seven popular affirmations. Through content analysis and descriptive statistics, we summarize their collective wisdom. 

Among the main findings are the recommendations for anxious and depressed individuals to actively seek help from multiple people and interventions, as well as to being open to trying innovative self-tailored interventions. Affirmations relating to 'not being crazy' in relation to anxiety and that the depression will subside in time were deemed most helpful for recovery. Discussion focuses on practical application.

Reducing negative thinking and depressive symptoms in college women.
J Nurs Scholarsh. 2000;32(2):145-51.
Peden AR, Hall LA, Rayens MK, Beebe LL.
College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40536-0232, USA.

PURPOSE: Although cognitive-behavioral interventions have been successful in treating depression, no studies were found that focused solely on reducing negative thinking via group intervention as a means of preventing depression in at-risk groups. The purpose of this randomized controlled trial was to test the effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral group intervention in reducing depressive symptoms, decreasing negative thinking, and enhancing self-esteem in young women at risk for depression.

DESIGN: A randomized controlled trial with 92 college women ages 18 to 24 who were at risk for depression was conducted.

METHOD: Participants were randomly assigned to either the control or experimental group. The experimental group participated in a 6-week cognitive-behavioral group intervention. Data on self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and negative thinking were collected via self-report questionnaires from control and experimental groups at baseline, 1 month after the intervention, and at 6-month follow-up. Data were analyzed using mixed-model methodology and the Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel chi-square test.

FINDINGS: Compared to those in the control group, women who received the intervention had a greater decrease in depressive symptoms and negative thinking and a greater increase in self-esteem, and these beneficial effects were maintained over 6-months.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings document the effectiveness of this cognitive-behavioral group intervention and indicate empirical support for the beneficial effects of reducing negative thinking by the use of affirmations and thought-stopping techniques on women's mental health.

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