A potentially crippling mental health problem is depression. It’s also among the most typical. According to the CDC, over 5% of Americans report having depression each year. Cases could, however, be underreported. According to some sources, the real number of people living with the illness is substantially greater.
The good news is that depression is precisely curable. We continue to learn more every year about mental health illnesses and successful treatments for them. One such treatment for depression is therapy.
To assist their patients in overcoming depression, therapists employ various therapeutic strategies.
Therapy using cognitive behavior (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, aids in identifying and modifying unfavorable ideas and the accompanying actions.
Negative thinking patterns are a common challenge for many who experience depression. These mental patterns have the power to affect how we act. Behavior then validates mental patterns. This starts a vicious cycle of unhappy thoughts and low spirits.
Our underlying beliefs frequently play a role in our mental processes. CBT-trained therapists assist their clients in identifying their underlying assumptions, dealing with the troubling ideas that result from them, and changing their behavior as necessary.
How Successfully Can CBT Treat Depression?
Numerous pieces of research have demonstrated the value of CBT as a depression therapy.
According to one research, CBT is just as successful in treating depression in patients as antidepressant drugs. The same study discovered that patients who finished the entire course of CBT sessions were less likely than those who just got medication to return to depressive symptoms following therapy.
Another recent study discovered that CBT participants significantly reduced their depressive symptoms.
It’s crucial to remember that some studies produce contradictory findings, and individuals with the most severe symptoms also frequently see the greatest therapeutic improvement.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) DBT and CBT share many similarities. It is the foundation for many of its strategies. DBT, on the other hand, is unique in that therapy teaches patients how to recognize, accept, and control their emotions. DBT encourages patients to “dialogue” with their emotions and actions, as the acronym suggests. To make good adjustments, patients are encouraged to question the inconsistencies in their attitudes and feelings.
Put another way, and a person develops the ability to “speak back to” unfavorable and self-defeating beliefs. They can start to swap out these negative ideas and actions with constructive ones during this process.
Depression Treatment Using DBT
For the treatment of depression, DBT has numerous advantages. Studies have backed these advantages.
One research found that teenagers’ depression symptoms improved after a DBT course published in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health journal in 2016. Additional research indicates that benefits are also seen in adults and the elderly.
Cognitive Activation (BA)
Similarities between behavioral activation and CBT and DBT may be seen. BA concentrates on the patient’s ideas and actions, much like these other therapies.
To treat depression, behavioral activation is frequently combined with other therapy modalities. By setting and achieving specified goals, BA assists patients in developing a long-term coping strategy.
When sad, a person may strive to avoid certain things, such as social gatherings. By using behavioral activation, therapists assist patients in developing a plan of action to help them stop engaging in avoidant behaviors.
The patient grows more self-assured and starts to work toward achieving reasonable objectives. As a result, optimism and a sense of achievement are strengthened. In turn, People start to get rid of their gloomy ideas and actions.
How Effective Is Behavioral Activation For Depression?
The use of behavioral activation alone is uncommon. As a comprehensive therapy strategy component, it is more frequently utilized in conjunction with other therapeutic modalities.
However, BA has been demonstrated to benefit people with mild to severe depression when used alone. However, the authors point out that comprehensive treatments still yield the greatest benefits.
Furthermore, it’s crucial to remember that behavioral activation is a very new form of treatment. Because of this, several researchers have concluded that further study is necessary before the full efficacy of behavioral activation can be revealed.
Therapy for Solving Issues
Problem-solving therapy is a therapeutic method for helping people deal with life pressures that are harmful to their mental health.
While we all face stress, big life pressures or persistent stress may harm our mental health. PST is intended to assist those experiencing depression or anxiety in locating and managing such stresses.
To help patients comprehend and manage stress effectively, PST draws on well-established strategies, including adaptive problem-solving and mindfulness. PST aids patients in more efficiently processing the unpleasant feelings that might come up when they go through challenges, such as losing a job or a loved one.
Depression Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)
Adult depression can be treated with interpersonal therapy. However, it is also being used more often to treat other mental health conditions.
IPT seeks to assist people with mild to severe depression in addressing relationship issues and enhancing connections. IPT emphasizes the patient’s actions and emotions, similar to problem-solving therapy.
I often have a time constraint. Therefore, the course of therapy could only include 20 sessions. Depending on the patient and their demands, the duration may change. In this period, the patient and the therapist:
Identify the patient’s most significant social connections.
Discuss the impact these relationships have on their mental health.
Develop abilities and tactics to strengthen these connections.
It has been demonstrated via studies that IPT can benefit those who are depressed. I may be more efficient when combined with other types of therapy, such as CBT.
How Much Time Does Depression Therapy Take?
Each person is unique, as are their symptoms. Their requirements will also influence how they are treated for their depression. In other words, no one therapy or mental health treatment works for everyone. On the other hand, according to the American Psychological Association, “on average 15 to 20 sessions are necessary for 50% of patients to recover, as shown by self-reported symptom assessments.”
A patient’s need for therapy to treat their depression will rely on a variety of circumstances, including:
Depression severity and signs
Associated disorders (such as anxiety, eating disorders, or substance abuse)
Adherence to therapy and treatment by the patient
Number of treatment sessions per week
These are a few variables that may influence how well the treatment works.
Is Depression Better Treated with Therapy or Medication?
Each patient is different. As a result, it’s crucial to personalize the course of treatment. For people with moderate to severe depression, antidepressant medicines are beneficial. Similarly, it has been demonstrated that treatment is just as effective as medicine for certain people.
The truth is that many people with severe or persistent depression will gain the best from a mix of treatment and antidepressants. Finding the proper drug and striking the right balance between therapies is difficult.
To create a comprehensive treatment plan, patients with more severe depression should see their doctor and a group of qualified mental health experts.
It’s crucial to realize that any mental health problem requires time to recover. While therapy may persist for several months, it may take multiple tries to locate the proper medicine.