If you are one of the many millions of people who suffer from depression, these Cognitive Behavioral Therapy basics will help you to decide if this is the right treatment for you.
You can be afflicted by depression at any age and for any reason. Women are more likely to be diagnosed, but it is unclear whether this is because we are more comfortable seeking help than men.
There are many treatment options available from antidepressants to CBT. I aim to give you the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy basics in this article so you can make up your mind up about if this therapy is right for you.
What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
This is a highly successful treatment for most types of depression. Therefore it is prescribed frequently by doctors and psychiatrists for everything from psychotic depression to bipolar disorder and chronic cases of depression.
The key to CBT is the belief that your negative thoughts are what cause your negative feelings. If you analyze and change your patterns of thinking then you should feel less depressed, in theory.
We all fall into certain patterns of thinking that stem from how we were brought up and learned to think. These patterns develop throughout our lives and when we reach adulthood those thinking patterns can be ingrained and difficult to change.
Negative thinking, including harsh and self-critical thoughts, can lead to despair and even depression when they repeat for long periods of time. Your self-esteem can take a knock as well.
Regretful actions and negative behaviors stem from thinking patterns too. It is therefore important to try and tackle negative thinking patterns before they drag you down into a depressive episode.
How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?
Firstly, CBT aims to help you to recognize when you are thinking negatively. This sounds simple but can be quite challenging as we don’t normally monitor our thoughts. They just happen.
Most people trust that their thoughts speak the truth about what is going on around them. But sometimes our thoughts lie to us, for example telling you:
“Everyone is going to stare at me”
If you are nervous about going into a social situation. Chances are that if people do stare, it is because they are curious about who is joining the party rather than being critical about your appearance for example.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy basics involve looking at negative thoughts one by one to see if they are indeed true. Then you will move on to learn how to overcome that negative thinking, and turn those thoughts into true and beneficial, more helpful thoughts.
You don’t develop these unhelpful thinking patterns overnight, so CBT isn’t an overnight process either. It takes time to pick apart thoughts and come up with healthier alternative thoughts.
Can I Do Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Basics at Home?
Not everyone wants to seek help from a therapist in order to get the benefits from this powerful depression treatment. For one, it can be expensive. Also, you could be stuck on a waiting list for months waiting to see a therapist.
This is where CBT based online therapies come into their own. My top rated depression treatment system is an eBook called “Destroy Depression” which aims to do what the name suggests. It is CBT based but also aims to tackle your depression as a whole rather than just focusing on negative thoughts.
It has a very high success rate compared to some antidepressants for example. This drug free and comprehensive system is much cheaper than a typical treatment plan of CBT but uses the same fundamentals to help you manage and treat your depression from the comfort of your home.