According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 percent of Americans report symptoms that are in keeping with diagnosis requirements for clinical depression.
Depression in individuals with substance abuse is even more prevalent, and cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a proven, effective way to treat depression—with or without chemical dependency issues.
Everyone has experienced depression from time to time, and not everyone requires professional help to escape depression. Depression is a state of feeling sad or unmotivated, often with changes in sleep pattern, appetite, or interest level.
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of clinical depression can include:
- Angry outbursts
- Constant frustration and irritability
- Feelings of emptiness
- Lack of energy
- Trouble concentrating or remembering things
- Physical symptoms such as unexplained headaches or back pain
Ongoing depression is a signal that outside help may be required to get back to a more normal and happy life. Serious depression may be accompanied by thoughts of suicide, which is always a sign that professional intervention is essential.
CBT and Depression
A number of professional treatment methods exist for chronic depression. CBT is a popular method because it addresses a range of issues, doesn’t always involve medication, and has been effective in treating a variety of depression issues. In a study of veterans with depression, CBT was found to provide improvement in depressive symptoms by around 40 percent in patients of all ages.
CBT relies on the belief that a person’s emotional state and mood is related heavily to his or her thought pattern.
A major goal of CBT is to help individuals identify negative thought patterns and institute coping mechanisms to replace unnecessary negativity with healthier thought processes. Instead of treating the symptoms of depression, CBT seeks to eliminate or reduce the root cause of a depressive state.
Assuming the Worst
Someone giving into a depressive state may make unfounded decisions based on emotions or always assume the worst will happen. They may dwell on the negative, exaggerate poor circumstances, and refuse to acknowledge the positive in any situation.
All of this leads to a cycle of continuing depression. During CBT, therapists work with patients, providing education on how to identify these poor coping skills or thought processes and expel them in favor of more positive actions and thoughts.
An Effective Treatment
CBT has been shown to be as effective or more effective than many other treatment methods for depression. As such, it has become a common part of many inpatient and outpatient treatment programs; even when medication or other methods are involved, CBT is used in group, individual, and family therapy sessions.
Continuing after inpatient treatment with CBT through a professional social worker or therapist often provides individuals with good protection against relapse.
As society becomes more comfortable discussing mental health issues, depression is coming to light in more cases. For those suffering depression, CBT offers an effective and safe way to seek a healthier life. Working with a professional to identify negative thinking patterns and institute strong coping skills can help someone make a positive change throughout life.
Call us at 877-466-0620 to learn more about CBT and how it can help mood disorder.