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Depression and CBT Treatment

Clinically significant depression affects 15% – 20% of the people at some point intheir lives. Depression impacts your thoughts, feelings, relationships and behaviors. It is not something you can ‘snap out of’, and depression can significantly influence your ability to function at your best. . Understanding the common symptoms of depression can give a clear picture o the disorder  andhelp you understand when it’s time to seek treatment.The good news is that depression is treatable, and you don’t have to suffer forever.

Symptoms of Depression

Depressive disorders consist of a variety of symptoms in the areas of mood, thinking, behaviors, and physical reactions. Many depressed people are also anxious, nervous and experience feelings of guilt or shame

Changes in Thoughts

When we are depressed, our thinking is characterized by negative thoughts about ourselves (self-criticism), negative thoughts about the future (hopelessness), and negative interpretations of daily experiences. This negative thinking occurs in children, adolescents and adults who are depressed. When we are depressed, our beliefs about ourselves are seen through a bleak prism. For example, we may believe:

  • “I’m a failure.”
  • “I’m no good.”
  • “I’m unlovable.”
  • “It’s all my fault”

Mood-Related Symptoms can include:

  • Sadness
  • Irritability
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Nervous
  • Anger

Depression can have an impact on your behavior, including:

  • Withdrawal
  • Avoidance of other people
  • Loss of interest in activities that used to give us pleasure

Physical Symptom that accompany depression include:

  • decreased energy
  • fatigue and being tired
  • difficulty with attention and concentration
  • sleep difficulties and insomnia
  • loss of interest in eating or alternatively an increase in appetite that leads to weight gain.

Additionally, depression is associated with an alteration in brain chemistry.  Some people try to self-medicate using drugs or alcohol.

These four areas (mood, thinking, behavior, and physical functioning) interact and affect each other. When there is a change or alteration in any of these areas, the other three areas change in response. For example, changes in brain chemistry (due to antidepressant medication) may lead to improvement in mood, thinking, and behavior. Similarly, enduring changes in thinking can create enduring positive changes in mood and behavior. Finally, changes in behavior can result in long lasting changes in thinking, brain chemistry, and mood.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depressive Disorders

Cognitive behavior therapy is a form of psychotherapy that has been demonstrated to be effective in treating depression. It’s often the first-line treatment for many psychological disorders including depression and anxiety. Cognitive is a fancy word that refers to thoughts or beliefs. Cognitive-behavior therapy or CBT is an active, structured, directive form of therapy that focuses on the thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that accompany depressive disorders. CBT is the most researched form of psychotherapy and rigorous studies consistently  demonstrate that CBT is the most effective form of psychotherapy for treating depression and anxiety disorders.

Specialists in Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Depression

At the Anxiety and Depression Center, we specialize in using CBT to treat clients with depression and anxiety. You will learn to identify, evaluate, and change the thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that accompany your depression. This usually leads to a significant reduction in depression symptoms—often in a brief period of time. As you develop new coping skills and perspectives you will likely begin to feel better and you are likely to find yourself engaging in life in a more meaningful and satisfying way. CBT can help you develop the tools to deal differently to triggers in daily life that now push you into a negative spiral.

Learning to think in newer and more adaptive ways consistently can lead to less frequent and severe symptoms of depression. Many depressed people report that this process leads to greater amounts of meaning, satisfaction, and happiness in their lives. Learning these coping tools can also  can also help mitigate anxiety, panic, guilt and shame.

Recent studies consistently show that 70 to 80 percent of people with depression improve with cognitive-behavior therapy. Additionally, patients receiving CBT and anti-depressant medications have a lower relapse rate (reoccurrence of the depression) than patients treated with anti-depressants alone. CBT can help you get better and stay better.

Anxiety and Depression Center Treatment Options

No matter the type or severity of your depression, it’s important to understand that there are treatments available. Whether you are experiencing depressive symptoms for the first time or this is a recurrent situation we will take a thorough history to understand you – your strengths and vulnerabilities. We will review your family history, social history and medical historyin order to develop a plan to get you back to feeling better.  Effective treatment looks different for each person. For instance, a new mother trying to cope with post-partum depression likely requires a different approach than an individual struggling with panic attacks or chronic depression. Our specialists will tailor treatment to your specific situation, and can recommend other health care providers in order to create a treatment team when appropriate.

Get in Touch With the Anxiety and Depression Center

If you’re struggling with the symptoms of depression, we can help. Our therapists are experts in the treatment of depression, and can provide you with the tools to relieve your symptoms and take control of your life.  Call today to schedule an appointment.