CBT Depression

CBT for Depression

Depression, low moods and sadness can make even the smallest tasks seem impossible and if not addressed can lead to serious difficulties in daily living, maintaining relationships and careers. 

Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of depression understands that a person struggling with their moods tends to have a lot of negative thinking in three areas:
  1. Negative thoughts about themselves
  2. Negative thoughts about their ‘personal world’ 
  3. Negative thoughts about their future
This negative thinking understandably leads to feelings of hopelessness and depression and can create changes in behaviors such as:
  1. Avoidance of different tasks and activities
  2. Increased dependence on other people
  3. Isolation or withdrawal 

Depression often leads to doing less because the act of ‘doing’ can seem impossible, pointless and painful. Unfortunately, while doing less can lead to some relief in the moment it does not result in lifting the depression and will make it more likely that you will continue having negative thoughts and low moods. Read more about the basic components of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

CBT Treatment for depression involves:

Behavioral Activation – Since a hallmark of depression is a person’s tendency to do less, it is critical to address this as a primary treatment goal. Your therapist will help you assess your current daily activities and understand how this may be serving to maintain your depressed moods. Long term, doing less will not result in feeling better. Your therapist will teach you tools to help you increase your daily activities according to your personal values. 

Cognitive Restructuring – Negative thinking is also a hallmark of depression and leads to continued low moods and a sense of hopelessness. In CBT treatment, you will learn how to identify your thoughts that are leading to depression learn more about the role of thoughts in our moods , evaluate whether these thoughts are giving you accurate and helpful information and learn tools to cope with these thoughts when they pop into your mind. Sometimes thoughts that we have are true and warrant a deeper look at what aspects of our lives may need to be changed. Conversely, sometimes these thoughts are not completely true and are best addressed by learning tools to think more accurately and know how to respond when these distorted beliefs are activated.
Some symptoms of depression include low moods, a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, low levels of motivation, agitation, isolation, changes in appetite, changes in sleep and suicidal thoughts. Suicidal thoughts can occur in a person that is suffering with depression and are something that your therapist can help you understand and cope with. If you are in danger of hurting yourself and need immediate help please call 911 or go to your local emergency room. 

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