Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia Alleviates Depression


Nearly 150 people taking antidepressants had more robust alleviations of their depression after participating in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBTI), according to research discussed at a joint meeting of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society and reported in Psychiatric News. In another study discussed at the same meeting, nearly 90 percent of veterans who learned CBTI “fell below the threshold for clinical insomnia” after one month, according to Psychiatric News.

The study of veterans included 21 people who learned CBTI in group sessions. According to Psychiatric News, the researchers reported that, “Group-based CBTI represents a promising modality that can deliver durable improvements in sleep and overall mental health symptoms, even among veterans with complex clinical histories.”

Improving Sleep May Benefit Psychiatric Disorders (Psychiatric News, August 14, 2014. DOI: 10.1176/


  1. I’m pretty certain sleep depravation is a known form of torture, and is also known to cause psychiatric “symptoms.” So “improving sleep may benefit psychiatric disorders” strikes me as something the researchers should have already known. Am I incorrect?

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    • Tell a psychiatrist in a mental ward that you’ve always needed eight to ten hours of sleep and that you’ve never felt good with less except for that time on an anti-depressant, and that you haven’t had more than three hours of sleep a night for weeks and have been hypervigilant with PTSD and have been suffering intense MS pains throughout your body when you lie down and you’re having overwhelming hot flashes and that you’ve cracked up from lack of sleep and see where that gets ya’. Any previous misdiagnosis will rule the day and nothing else needs to be considered.

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      • Tell them you’re not interested in waking up at 7 a.m. to take your meds and get a bloodcheck and what not. Psychiatrists in these places are for most part either hopelessly stupid or so not giving a f**ck that it’s sadistic .

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    • Anyone with half a brain would predict this, but psychiatric practice is so fragmented and mechanical for the most part that such connections are rarely even considered. For starters, lack of sleep is a “symptom” of depression, so depression “treatments” are supposed to improve sleep. I think many psychiatric manistreamers would have a lot of cognitive dissonance at the idea that the sleep loss actually creates the depression.

      The obvious is not obvious in this field!

      —- Steve

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  2. Unfortunate, SE, the common theory in the mental health world has been improve the depression and the sleep will improve and not the other way around. It is about time these folks realized that this was a bunch of BS.

    So no, you definitely are not incorrect.

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    • Well, there may be the viscous cycle quality to it too – if you suffer from stress/trauma you can’t sleep -> anxiety and other problems get worse -> sleep gets worse …repeat ad infinitum. Basically this should be evaluated on case by case basis to find reasons for what’s going on but sadly that’s not how it works for most folks – you get a prescription and you’re lucky if it’s just one.

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