Cognitive distortions among depressed and suicidal drug abusers.
A very high proportion of drug abusers have psychiatric problems, with depressive symptoms particularly common. Nonabusing depressed patients have been found to demonstrate elevated levels of cognitive distortions, relative to normals, and to benefit from therapies that address such cognitive distortions. The present study investigated the prevalence of cognitive distortions in a sample of 52 inpatient depressed and/or suicidal drug abusers. Levels of cognitive distortion were found to be comparable to those reported in other studies for noninpatient depressed subjects, but lower than those of nonabusing depressed inpatients. Within the present relatively homogeneous sample, degree of cognitive distortion was nevertheless related to levels of depression, hopelessness, and suicidality. It is concluded that cognitive therapy may be indicated for depressed drug abusers.
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