Curing Depression With CBT

Curing depression with CBTCuring depression with CBT

Depression is real. Depression is an illness. Depression can affect your physical, mental and emotional well-being. Depression can last for weeks, months, years or even a lifetime if left untreated. So why do so many people not seek help for depression? If you’re thinking ‘what can I do to help with depression’, consider using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). CBT is one of the most effective treatments for depression and is a way of talking about how you think about yourself, your environment and the people within it. Using CBT you can also discuss what it is that affects your thoughts and feelings. Once you understand the factors that are causing your depression, CBT can help you make positive changes to overcome it.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy changes how you think (known as ‘cognitive’) and how you act (known as ‘behaviour’). Making changes will help you feel better and you’ll start to make progress in beating your depression. CBT focuses and the problems you have in the present but won’t reflect on the past like many other ‘talking therapies’. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy takes the overwhelming difficulties and problems of the ‘here and now’ that are causing your depression and then breaks them down into small and manageable parts. This method makes it simple to understand how the individual parts are affecting you and how they are connected to each other.

Treat depression with CBT

Research has shown that most people suffering with depression will respond when they find a treatment that works. This can be a case of trial and error but recent studies have used brain imaging as a way to identify how CBT is effective in treating depression. Certain parts of the brain are active and inactive when exposed to negative stimuli (words, images etc.). Decreased activity in the part of the brain known as the subgenual cingulate cortex was found in nine people with depression when exposed to negative words. When treated with CBT, seven of the nine people recovered from their depression. Another study showed that CBT can be as effective as antidepressant drugs in treating depression. The benefits of CBT over conventional drug treatment include no side-effects such as nausea, drowsiness and dependency and reduced visits to medical healthcare professionals.

Using CBT to treat depression

We’ve previously mentioned breaking down depression into small manageable parts. These parts can be summarised as the situation, thoughts, emotions, feelings (emotions and physical) and actions. CBT looks at ways of reacting to situations by changing the way you think about them. If someone you know walks by without acknowledgement you could think they don’t like you. Your associated feeling is to be sad and rejected by this. You may then suffer physical feelings like nausea, cramps or lethargy. Your possible action is to head home and ignore them. Using CBT methods, a better way to handle the situation is to think the person may have something on their mind so they’re preoccupied and didn’t see you. The positive emotional feeling is to be concerned for that person. This concern will have no associated physical feelings and your action is to make contact with them and see if everything is okay.

Drawing the wrong conclusion can make depression worse and result in a vicious cycle that will be applied to every situation you find yourself in. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy corrects the way you think about each individual part of a situation so you can create a new and positive sequence that changes the way you feel. CBT teaches you life-long techniques so you’ll eventually be treating yourself and overcoming your depression on your own terms.

Article Submitted By
Daniel Alexander
GoToSee Journalist

Date Published
04/08/08


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