When it comes to seeking self-help to support our mental health, the question of whether one needs a psychologist, psychiatrist, counsellor or coach is often the first stumbling block. Read more to find out what would be best for you.
Depression is an illness of the body AND mind. It is usually accompanied with anxiety or is a consequential by-product of other problems (chronic) that have not been addressed.
Depression is diagnosed when the symptoms last for longer than 2 concurrent weeks. Depression can be diagnosed as mild, moderate, severe or very severe. It is not uncommon for a person to not even notice when being mildly or moderately depressed.
CBT is an effective treatment for Depression. In therapy, you will learn to think differently and manage the symptoms better. Depression is usually accompanied with constant tiredness or excessive anxiety or both, tearfulness or general loss of interest and numbness with a negative view of self and one’s future.
A depressed state of mind is characterised by ruminative and negative thinking patterns. Rumination is where a person repetitively relives a past experience. In CBT, this ruminative thinking pattern alongside unhelpful behavioural patterns are addressed.
Learning to notice and manage thinking and behaviour patterns will help to alleviate depression.
When you first have a CBT session, the cause of the depression will be investigated and addressed. Depression is often a consequence of another problem, whether it is anxiety, self esteem, or an old traumatic event. CBT is a viable alternative to medication.
Signs of Depression:
- Appetite changes — eating much more or far less
- Inability to concentrate — even on easy tasks
- Uncontrollable negative thoughts
- Irritability, aggression, and short-temperedness
- Engaging in reckless behaviour
- Drinking more alcohol than usual
- Using illegal or prescription drugs to excess
- Self-loathing — feelings of worthlessness and guilt
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
- Loss of interests in things you used to enjoy
- Unnatural tiredness
If you think that any of the above signs are similar to how you are feeling, then you may be depressed, and CBT may be what you need to help you through your journey.