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Curing clinical depression with cognitive behavioral therapy

12-29 | Rachael

Curing clinical depression with cognitive behavioral therapy

Intense depression has become a phenomenon in the modern world. In fact, anxiety disorders are affecting 40 million adults in the United States, which is 18.1 percent of the country’s adult population, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. So, clinical depression is considered a common mental illness.

Melancholy is a normal reaction to the miseries, struggles and loss in life. However, when sadness becomes extreme, prolonged in many days or weeks and can already make a person feel hopeless and helpless, then it is already unhealthy. Intense sadness becomes clinical when the person already feels worthless. Genetics, brain chemistry, temperament and life events like divorce, job loss and giving birth are some of the factors that can contribute to clinical depression. The good news is that this debilitating condition can be treated.

Creating a routine, balancing the hormones, goal setting, exercise, healthy diet, enough sleep, having fun and challenging negative thoughts are just some of the natural depression treatments. However, when lifestyle changes are still not effective, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help treat depression. This approach is actually used in helping people with mood disorders, over anxiety, delusions and phobias. It is a type of psychotherapy that aims to assist the individual in achieving a balanced state of mind by dealing with both the cognitive and behavioral components.

The patient of clinical depression is guided to identify the negative thoughts which triggers negative emotions. More so, daily activities are assessed in order to see its influences on the mood of the patient. The approach of CBT recognizes the significant role of disparaging patterns of thinking and reacting to clinical depression. The patient is guided to interchange his thinking with judgments that can result to more positive reactions.

CBT has a rational and more programmed approach. A depressed person may have negative perception towards one’s self, the world and the future. When these repetitive dysfunctional thinking is reconstructed into desirable thoughts, the intensity of depression can be reduced. It is also believed that CBT works as great as the anti-depressant medications.

A study by Steven D. Hollon, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University, reveals the relative effectiveness of medications and exclusive psychotherapy as well as combined treatment in the management of clinical depression. The patients with moderate to severe depression were chosen and 104 patients who responded to the treatment were referred for continuation. Patients who were withdrawn from the CBT have undergone three booster sessions at the continuation stage, whereas those assigned to continuation of medication were retained at full dosage levels. The result of the research shows that patients withdrawn from CBT were less likely to relapse during continuation than patients withdrawn from medication. Furthermore, CBT has an enduring effect encompassing beyond the completion of treatment. Apparently, it works as effective as maintaining the patients on medication. The result is indeed compelling!

A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy may last 14 to 16 weeks. Imagery, Socratic probing, role playing, behavioral tests, thought recording and guided discovery are just some of the multiple techniques used in this type of psychotherapy. It offers structured learning experiences for individuals with clinical depression and other mental illnesses. Patients are highly encouraged to take an active role in clinical behavioral therapy, so that they can learn how to overcome problems or difficulties in a healthy and desirable way.

If you or your loved one is dealing with depression that needs medical intervention, call the Depression Treatment Helpline of Colorado at 866-427-5668 right away for assistance. One of our experts will help you find a treatment program suited to your needs.


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