Last week we told you about how yoga may help with depression. A recent study presents a different approach to help individuals with Parkinsonís disease (PD) who experience depression: cartoons.
In many cultures, such as the Japanese culture, stigma around mental health prevents individuals from seeking help with depression, which affects up to half of all individuals with PD. People in these populations may have a more pessimistic view of recovery, as well. In order to overcome these barriers, Japanese researchers used cartoon illustrations, known as manga (ďcomicĒ), as part of psychological therapy. Manga is a culturally accepted medium that has successfully helped people in Japan learn about public health initiatives.
In this study, published in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, researchers used cartoons to educate and train people with PD on how to change negative thought patterns and behaviors. Following this ďcartoon therapy,Ē participants experienced a significant reduction in depressive symptoms, and these effects persisted over three months. They also reported a better understanding of the nature of their depression.
Although this study included only a small number of volunteers (19 individuals), it provides evidence that psychological therapy can be adapted to effectively manage symptoms of depression in individuals with PD across cultures. The next step is additional studies to better understand the effect of this type of therapy on individuals with PD and depression.
An example of the cartoon illustrations (manga) used to help participants manage their depressive symptoms.
Want to learn more about how to manage depression with PD?
Sign up for our webinar on Depression and Anxiety in Parkinson's Disease on Thursday, June 16, 2016, at 12 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. PT.