Non-drug Clinical Approach as an Alternatuve Treatment for Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia): A Case Study


As a form of chronic depression, Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia) is widely managed with antidepressants. Unaware of the side effects of these medications, many individuals diagnosed with this condition readily opt for medical treatments to regain wholeness. Also, incorporating medication with talk therapies has served as an alternative for mental health practitioners (Keller et al 2000). However, not much permanent successes have been achieved with these methods owing to the detrimental side effects experienced by most patients after treatment. A relatively novel approach in the treatment of this disorder is gradually gaining eminence in the mental health profession which is solely focused on a non-drug/non-invasive treatment method (SIGN Guideline No. 114, 2010) involving Mindfulness Meditation, Biofeedback therapy, Neurofeedback therapy, Audio-visual entrainment therapy and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy. Although many successes have been recorded with this method, there is little knowledge about this treatment method in the Nigerian context. Hence this research.


The general aim of this study is to ascertain the efficacy of a non-drug approach in treatment of Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia).


Holistic therapy modalities comprised of Biofeedback therapy, Mindfulness Meditation and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Beck’s Depression Inventory, Zung’s Anxiety self-report scale, Epworth Sleepiness scale and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Inventory were analyzed to evaluate the effectiveness of therapy sessions.


Following treatment, client’s overall well-being was found to have largely improved relative to pre-treatment assessment. Additional improvement were observed in the client’s efforts in maintaining her new lifestyle.


Non drug treatment methods are highly effective in the treatment of Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)


Further research is warranted to ascertain the effectiveness of a non-drug approach in the treatment of other mood disorders.

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