Depression denotes a very prevalent and severe medical illness that negatively pretends how you feel, recall and practice. Fortunately, it can be treated. When someone is depressed, they are unmotivated, feel sad, or lose interest in the activities they once enjoyed. This can lead to various emotional and physical problems that demotivate a person’s ability to function properly at work and at home.
The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe, and they include:
- Overwhelming feelings of sadness
- No interest or pleasures in activities you used to enjoy
- Change in appetite unrelated to diet, either weight gain or loss
- Trouble falling asleep or sleeping too much
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Suicidal thoughts
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
However, these symptoms must last for at least two weeks to be considered depression.
According to research, depression affects one in 15 adults (6.7%) on average in any given year. Additionally, one in six people (16.6%) experience depression at some point in their life. Depression can happen at any time and to anyone; however, it usually appears during the late teens to mid-20s.
There are several causes of depression, and they include:
Family history: You have a higher risk of developing depression if there is a history of depression or another mood disorder in your family
Childhood trauma: Some events that happened when you were young affect the way your body reacts to stressful situations and fear.
Brain structure: You’re at a greater risk for depression if the frontal lobe of the brain is less active. However, scientists are unsure if this happens before or after the appearance of depressive symptoms.
Existing medical conditions: There are certain conditions that may put you at higher risk, like insomnia, chronic pain, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Drug use: People who have a history of drug or alcohol misuse are at risk of having depression. Additionally, about 21% of people who had substance use problems also experienced depression.
What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
CBT or Cognitive behavioural therapy is a type of psychotherapy that aims to modify thought patterns to change moods and behaviours. It’s based on the concept that negative actions and feelings are the results of distorted beliefs or thoughts, and they’re not unconscious forces from the past.
CBT is a combination of cognitive therapy and behavioural therapy. While cognitive therapy focuses on your moods and thoughts, behavioural therapy targets actions and behaviours. When you attend therapy for depression, a licensed therapist who practices this combined CBT approach will work with you to reach a favourable outcome. You both will work together to identify the negative thought patterns and behavioural responses that stem from challenging or stressful situations.
Treating depression involves developing a more balanced and constructive way to respond to external stressors. Ideally, the new responses will help reduce the troubling behaviour. CBT is a short-term approach compared to psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies. These other types may require several years to discover and effectively treat, while CBT usually needs only 10 to 20 sessions.
The sessions provide you with opportunities to identify life situations that might cause or contribute to your depression. You and your therapist need to identify the current patterns of thinking that lead to depression.
Can Cognitive Behavioral therapy help to reduce depression?
It’s likely that you’ve come to this page as you’re well aware of how crippling depression can be. Depression is a common condition, but it’s also extremely serious. This illness negatively impacts your life as well as the lives of those around you. It can extend as far as affecting your coworkers and employers too.
If you feel that your problems are your own and it doesn’t affect others, the truth is contrary to that belief. People with depression can negatively impact the general functioning of society. For example, being depressed can impose a financial burden on you, the sufferer, which will have a trickle effect on your caregiver, family, and even your employer.
If you’re suffering from depression, then Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can provide a new lease of life. If your condition is mild-to-moderate major depression, then CBT can be a standalone treatment and offer great relief. However, if you have severe major depression, then you might need to go for CBT in conjunction with medication, as that would be the most effective treatment.
CBT Can Be Divided Into Behavioral and Cognitive Components:
With the help and support of a therapist, you can learn to identify negative thoughts that result in negative emotions. You and the therapist can then question the validity of these emotions and explore new and alternative positive thoughts.
Through this, you can uncover the core negative beliefs and discuss how they affect you. This is a very crucial part of the treatment, as negative thoughts can create a lack of focus, energy, and motivation. With Cognitive Behavioral therapy, you can re-educate yourself to be more realistic in terms of your thinking, which can then help alleviate depression. Also, you’ll be given the opportunity to explore the origin of your negative core beliefs. You can then explore whether there is any real evidence for or against negative beliefs.
Throughout the behavioural counselling aspect of treatment, your therapist will guide you on measuring and assessing how your daily routine and activities impact your mood. Your therapist will encourage you to explore your behaviours and how they can help improve and alleviate your depression symptoms.
Behavioural therapy techniques include developing a positive plan of action based on your behaviour. You can make a list of activities, from easy to difficult, and start working on checking the items off the list. As you master the activities in order of difficulty, you will start to experience feelings of achievement, and your depression will reduce.
Depression is common and it can be very serious if it’s left untreated. If you don’t get the right support when you need it, it can lead to physical and emotional damage. Some parts of society see therapy as a taboo and hence, don’t go for sessions. You should understand that your health, both mental and physical, is of great importance to you and your family.