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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: An Effective Treatment for Depression

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Despite the prevalence of mental health symptoms and disorders in the United States, mental illness and its treatment still have a stigma attached to them.  Due to this stigma, people are willing to consider various possibilities for symptoms they are experiencing while overlooking the possibility of a mental health problem.  To further complicate the picture, even with education on topics specific to mental health and what to look for, it can be difficult to notice the symptoms in yourself or others. Mental health problems in yourself may be overlooked or missed due to the symptoms developing slowly over time.  As the symptoms develop, you modify your behaviors to accommodate them and come up with reasons why you might feel off your game, such as you had a bad day at work, your kids have been more active, or relationship problems.  You start to feel and behave differently but are so busy with life that you might not recognize these insidious changes.

Just as mental illness in yourself can be overlooked, mental illness in others is easy to miss.  Due to the often slow development of symptoms, changes might be difficult for an outsider to notice.  Additionally, the person may try to hide his or her symptoms and be unable or unwilling to talk about them.  While you may suspect there is something affecting another person, if he or she denies it then you must put your concerns and suspicions aside for the time being.

Depressed mood is a common mental health symptom, and a depressed mood can lead to a depressive disorder if left untreated. The most common symptoms of depression are loss of interest in things you used to enjoy, lack of motivation, sleeping too little or too much, eating too little or too much, low patience, irritability, poor concentration, low self-esteem, and thoughts of self-harm. As you can see, this is a wide range of symptoms that can be caused by various factors. To further complicate matters, one person who is depressed might eat more and sleep less, while someone else who is depressed might eat less and sleep more.   There is great variability in how people experience a depression.

It is important to note that on their own, the symptoms may not look like depression. However, as more of the symptoms occur, one should start to consider the possibility of a depressive disorder.  The symptoms must be present for a minimum of two weeks to be considered a Major Depressive Disorder, but can last for several years.  There are various types of depression, which you can discuss further with your therapist, however, they all have similar symptoms to be aware of and address with your therapist or other provider.

Depression is common, but it is also treatable.  The best depression treatment consists of a treatment plan that is developed between you and your therapist, with your specific symptoms and expectations addressed. One common form of treatment for depression is cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT.  CBT is based on research which demonstrates how we think impacts how we feel and then behave.  For example, if you think (cognition) that no one likes you or wants to spend time with you, you will become depressed (mood), and will isolate yourself (behavior).  The more you isolate yourself, the more you confirm your belief that no one likes you because you are not around people to change that thought, and people stop asking you to hang out because you always decline.  As a result, your depression becomes stronger and you are stuck in a downward spiral of worsening mood.  CBT is an effective form of treatment because it helps you recognize the thoughts that have become unhelpful and assists you in becoming more active and doing things you enjoy.  Once you can tackle the unhelpful thoughts, you will notice changes in your mood and behavior.  CBT is different from some other therapies in that it doesn’t require extensive focus on your childhood.  CBT is more focused on the here-and-now.  People seek treatment due to their current situation and wanting to make changes, and that is why CBT can help you make changes in your current life.

If you or someone you know experiences mental health issues, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional. Our Resource Specialist can help you find expert mental health resources to recover in your community. Contact us now for more information on this free service to our users.

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Author’s Bio: At Mindset Therapy, licensed psychologists are available to provide the best depression treatments in Texas via telepsychology.  With Mindset Therapy, you will learn different techniques to improve your depressed mood, with CBT as a possible treatment utilized. Services are available across the state of Texas, with your convenience in mind. Please visit https://www.mindsettherapyonline.com/ or email mindsettherapyonline@outlook.com for more information.


Photo by Kristine Weilert on Unsplash

The opinions and views expressed in this guest blog do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in this article or linked to herein.

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1 thoughts on “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: An Effective Treatment for Depression

  1. Joe B says:

    This country better wake soon and realize the amount of all sorts of mental illness all over the place destroying good people’ lives!!! Make it easier for people to come forward and ask for help !! I could start his reading Patrick Kennedy‘s book on his life !

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