People suffering from depression or anxiety, seek help from psychologists, while some are not getting better, and sometimes the condition worsens. Like drugs, psychological help has negative side effects. This unexplored issue has become central to a new dissertation at Stockholm University.
We know that therapy is an effective treatment for mental illness. But we know little about whether some patients may become worse during treatment, "- says Alexander Rosenthal, a licensed psychologist and doctor of psychology.
Rosenthal studied cognitive-behavioral therapy, provided via the Internet. This therapy is something like a tutorial with the support of a psychologist by email. The method recommended by the National Council on guidelines for the health and welfare of Sweden with the support of local authorities.
This thesis first step to study the side effects of online therapy. International scientific work on this issue has not yet been conducted. If we are going to use this method, you need to understand the consequences ", - said Alexander.
The data showed that 6% of the 3000 patients studied got worse during treatment. In another study, people who took therapy on an outpatient basis, identified other types of negative impact.
Scientists have found that a third of the subjects experienced anxiety and stress; We had difficulty with memory. No wonder people feel worse in the presence of negative experiences in therapy. It is also true that the treatment has a positive effect on some people and negatively affects the other, as in the case of drugs. We need a deeper understanding of the side effects to monitor patients who are getting worse, and to protect patients from unscrupulous doctors or scams.
I hope that psychologists and psychotherapists began to realize what could be the side effects. They should ask patients if they are experiencing something similar. I believe that society should control the personnel providing psychotherapy services. Currently there are no laws preventing the mental health without a license, "- said Rosenthal.