DEPRESSION! For those who have never had it, it’s very difficult to understand or empathise with.
For those who know depression, it’s also difficult to understand and deal with or even to identify.
So let’s start with some of the symptoms of depression.
Evidence that something is wrong is the best way to accept it and to start to take action.
- Unusual amount of tiredness.
- Lack of concentration
- Consistent negative thinking
- Feelings of hopelessness, frustration, and annoyance which can lead to aggression or sudden temper spikes
- Physical aches and pains in the stomach, back, head or muscles
- Excessive drinking
- Excessive use of prescription or illegal drugs
- Changes in appetite resulting in eating far more or far less
- Consistent melancholia based on self-pity and self-loathing
The above are just some of the symptoms of depression.
Perhaps you can recognise these in yourself or in someone you know?
If the answer is yes, then you’ll be happy to know that Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is an effective treatment for a lot of people with depression.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy – Lifting the Fog
Depression can often feel like a fog around the brain that disrupts normal thinking.
CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) can help cut through the fog and achieve clarity by modifying thought patterns.
A CBT therapist helps you to identify negative patterns in behaviour and in your thinking.
Together you can see how you respond to stressful situations or challenging situations. From this, you learn how your actions affect your feelings and thoughts as wells how you see yourself and your circumstances and the people in your environment.
This new awareness and knowledge of yourself, understanding of the causes of stress and their circumstances help to develop a new constructive way of thinking and a way to cope with negative thinking.
CBT focuses on the now and what patients can do to help themselves.
What’s involved and how does it work?
It’s important to note that this treatment works well for those patients with mild or moderate depression without the use of medicine.
If a patient is diagnosed with major depression, then perhaps a combination of CBT and medicine is needed. Obviously, those decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.
It’s also useful to note that CBT works well when the patient has a desire to get better, is willing to open up about what is happening and has the belief that they control the circumstances that happen to them.
The recovery work starts with an inventory to identify patterns in thoughts, emotions and physical feelings (such as cravings, impulses etc). With the help of your therapist, you learn how to see how each one can affect you and if it unhelpful or unrealistic. You can then take the step of changing the negatives.
This “re-programming” takes time and some practice is needed.
Daily sessions with your therapist are often required but with the patient dictating the pace. This self-reflection technique allows patients to remain healthy long after therapy has finished.
Addiction and Depression
Consciously or unconsciously people tend to use alcohol and drugs to escape from painful feelings. Abuse of alcohol and drugs is common as a misguided attempt to feel normal. This can develop into addiction.
Addiction and depression are sometimes identified as a dual diagnoses because the two conditions feed off each other and make both worse.
We see all types of addiction, with substances and behaviour, and they can manifest in many forms – gambling, sex, alcohol or drugs. Substance abuse increases the risk to your emotional and physical health.
CBT can help to create a healthy and positive life by identifying and treating the root causes of addiction and depression.
Excellent advice from those who have recovered from depression and addiction.
Here we have summarised advice and information from people who have been treated for depression, addiction, and anxiety with CBT.
- Exploring feelings that have been avoided will be uncomfortable and it’s likely a wide range of different reactions will surface. This will pass and you are not alone in facing these issues.
- Think of your therapist as a personal trainer. He or she will encourage and advise you but the hard work is up to you.
- Motivation can often be the hardest thing to achieve when depressed. You will need to push yourself and keep going.
- Maintain control of your sessions at all times. Consider the pace and the context of sessions and be brave.
- We confront our problems to get over them. This process can be challenging but is rewarded with achievement, hope, and new perspective.
Please contact us for more information or if you need a confidential and free chat with one of our highly-trained professionals.
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Sometimes the hardest step is reaching out for help but it’s also the most important.