Talk Examines the Treatment of Depression in different parts of the world

Posted: November 19, 2015 6:00 a.m.

Dr. Shadi Beshai will lead a discussion on “Depression in Canada and around the world.”
Dr. Shadi Beshai will lead a discussion on “Depression in Canada and around the world.” Photo courtesy of Shadi Beshai.

The issue of treatments for depression in different parts of the world is the topic of discussion at the the Open Minds talk on November 23.       

“Depression treatments adopted in different parts of the world mostly depend on how depression is believed to develop in different regions. By far, the most used treatment for depression in Western and non-Western countries alike is anti-depressant medications,” explains Dr. Shadi Beshai, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, who will be leading the discussion.

“In some countries, there is a bit more emphasis on religious and spiritual practices as a method to healing depression and sad mood.”
Beshai will look at the treatment of depression in Canada and around the world.

“What will work for white, middle-class individuals with depression may not work equally well for everyone else,” he says.

“Here in the West, we have a number of psychological treatments that appear to work well in treating depression,” says Beshai. “But people of different cultures may present different symptoms and features of depression. We do not yet know if we can successfully transport Western treatments to different regions of the world.”  

His talk will examine the study of depression in various cultures, with a particular focus on Egypt and the Middle East.

“Depression is a prevalent, disabling, and economically burdensome condition,” he says. “In Canada alone, the annual costs of depression are $14.4 billion in lost productivity, treatment, and premature death. Often times, people who are afflicted cannot just ‘get up’ and dust themselves off, and so we have to intervene through what we know works best. Yet the science examining the acceptability, relevance, and effectiveness of these Western treatments among individuals of varying cultures is in its infancy. I believe the evaluation, adaptation and dissemination of these treatments across cultures is in order.”

Beshai recently joined the University of Regina’s Department of Psychology, after a year-long fellowship and residency at the University of Exeter in England. His current research specializes in major depression, adult Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and the cultural affects on evidence-based psychotherapy outcomes.

The Faculty of Arts’ Open Minds discussion series brings University of Regina professors and members of the community together to engage in discussion of timely and sometimes controversial topics.  

“Depression in Canada and Around the World: Developing Treatments that Work for Different Cultures” will take place Monday, November 23 at 7:00 p.m. at the College Avenue campus of the University of Regina (CB 106).

This is a free event and refreshments will be served. Free parking will be available in lot 20M.