Online treatment for mental disorders is not exactly a new idea. The Australian National University’s Centre for Mental Health Research released MoodGYM five years ago, with multiple studies supporting its effectiveness and validity. One of their studies even suggests that the positive effects of …

6 Comments to
Online Treatment for Depression: Deprexis

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  1. “…completed in 10 to 60 minutes, depending on the user’s reading speed, interest, motivation, and individual path through the program.”

    Might be helpful for mild depression. Unfortunately the symptoms of depression often would interfere with the user’s ability to complete the Modules
    -Difficulty concentrating, sometime to the point of being UNABLE TO READ.
    -Decreased motivation, and decreased interest

    The whole program sounds fairly useless when not accompanied by professional help, and like a cop-out and excuse for professionally to decrease their quality of service.

  2. Sorry, typo:
    *professionals (not professionally)

  3. Doc John, why report on this program if it is not beneficial and if it is not accessable. It is discouraging even to read about it.

    The comment that 41% of the benefit is reached in the first 4 or so sessions is particularly upsetting to me as I’ve been in therapy for 14 years. That makes me especially persistent or really stupid…

    Loneliness is a part of my struggles with depression, ptsd and DID. I need all the help I can find because I do not have a wide or strong support system.

    Articles like this discourage me and I wonder why you put them out here on a public forum for people suffering and needing help, to read about how ineffective and unhelpful certain things are. I would think your effort would be better spent in reporting things that DO help.

    Lisa D.

  4. It’s not in my interest as someone who writes and reports on news and research to filter out what I write about in case it might offend or upset someone. Indeed, I’d find myself not writing a good quarter to half or more of the entries I write if that were the bar.

    Research like this is valuable in understanding what the future of a psychological intervention online might look like. It can also help guide us in understanding that while interventions like this might work well in research, there may be real roadblocks with their use and widespread, mass implementation in the real-world.

    I don’t write about these issues in order to discourage, and I apologize if that’s the way you read this… In fact, I’d suspect that most people who have depression and haven’t yet sought treatment for it would find such results encouraging — for many, a few sessions may be clinically beneficial. Not every entry is going to be helpful to every reader, and there’s little I can do about that, especially if you’ve been in treatment for a significant amount of time.

  5. I am not surprised the researchers tried to engage people to pad numbers to validate their intervention, the question I have is what is the cost when you go online to use the service as a treatment modality?

    Come on, a mental health treatment by the internet? Personally, my instinct is to be glad the program asks for potential patients to be referred, so if there are complications in participating in this program, at least there is a hands on person to engage the patient to help redirect if the internet process goes awry. Also, maybe to minimize liability risks if there was a serious negative outcome with a patient?

    And, my take on just 4 visits had an impact? A honeymoon phase. Serious change takes time to impact, and it is not going to happen quick. Otherwise, hey, we have pills. Remember the adage I heard a year ago: if you want to get better, take a pill, but if you want to get it right, face the truth.

    Can’t seem to get that off the internet.

  6. I thought this article was interesting until I read the part about needing a prescription and a doctors referral.

    Often I read an article that is a great help in dealing with my depression. Maybe only one or two sentences will pertain to me but I will retain that info forever. I still remember statements made by my mental health counselors starting back in 1980, if they were pertinent then, they are still effective now. I am now involved in a mental health/homeless program, the whole program is paid for by govt and nonprofit, any extra programs would not be funded by them and I have no income at all. For myself and everyone else involved in a similar program the online program would only help if it were free online, no referral needed.
    I cannot see where anyone could have negative effects from the program even if they have no diagnosis or have a different diagnosis. So if no negative side effects why not open to everyone,no cost, no prescriptions. Wouldnt advertisements earn enough money for the programmer?

  7. Dr. Grohol will be a guest on a radio show called “Voices in the Family” today to discuss online psychotherapy in general. You can listen live online (show starts at 12 noon EST) or listen to the archive edition. http://www.whyy.org/voices

  8. Dear John M. Grohol,

    First of all we like to thank you for recognizing our study and giving it attention in your blog. Your feedback gave all of us, the developers of Deprexis, some helpful ideas about how our program can be viewed and – even more important – improved. Until today we have learned a lot from the until now more than 1.000 participant using Deprexis in our study and in clinics all over Germany, as well as from the detailed feedbacks of about 150 of the most experienced German experts on psychotherapy and depression.

    Most important for us in the recent months was what you also pointed out as one of the major issues: How delivering Deprexis to the patients? Today we are convinced that Deprexis should be offered to patients publicly on an open website without any restrictions or the need of professional guidance. Our latest experiences with patients and professionals and also your comments here, Mr. Grohol, affirmed us in this decision.

    That’s why, starting on August 25th 2009, Deprexis will be available on http://www.deprexis.de. Until now we offer the program in German language, translations are planned.
    We would be thankful for all kinds of feedback, so feel free to contact us here on http://www.psychcentral.com with your comments or directly to info@deprexis.com.

    Best wishes

    Developing Team Deprexis

  9. It seems that a lot of depression treatments simply take to long and the attention span of the sufferer and also the depression itself making them feel they can’t cope or even forget that the service is available. Thus miss appointments etc. I suffered from bipolar and was suicidal for most of my teen years. In the end I took on a search for a solution that led me to a cure. “cure” is not the word many in this field as professionals want to hear. Ther training they go through gives long, multible and detailed reasons for depression. Most if not all are simply theories. I often wonder how many of these professionals have ever suffered severe depression themselves and thus really know what it is like. Most I am sure have only the theory and perhpas even equate it with the feelings they have when they are a bit down. Being a bit down or sad is easy to step out of with the majority of techniques that are around. Depression is much different than that to the suferer. There is no choice to simply “snap out of it” or to think “happy thoughts” I suffered for years and eventually through becoming a kinesiologist and studying many forms of alternative therapy was able to develop a treatement for myself. I was the perfect guinea pig as such as I was always available and could tell first hand what made a difference and what did not. It was through meeting one man who in a 5 minute chat gave me the missing piece of the puzzle I was missing. I took that missing piece and intergrated it with what I already had and my bipolar was gone. It is a very simple process. Since then I have treated hundreds of clients and seen the same results in them. Many of these clients had severelly traumatic events in thier lives and just like myself they felt them drop away and could move back into employment, relationships and socialising and living thier lives again. I more than half expect this post to be deleted given the type of site it is. However I never overlook the chance, the blessing of being able to change peoples lives.

    • Shae, I am interested in talking more to you about your post. Can you be contacted somehow?

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