CBT Therapy for Depression
What is Depression?
Depression can be described as a persistent feeling of unhappiness, and a loss of motivation and interest in the things in life you used to enjoy. Feeling sad and hopeless about your life situation, the future, and the world around you is common if you are depressed. It is completely normal to experience sadness or a low mood from time to time. However, if you are depressed may notice that your low mood persists for a period of time. The intensity of your low mood may vary throughout the day, and it is generally accompanied by a sense of hopelessness and despondency.
It is also common for someone who is depressed to experience anxiety, such as worrying about the future, or that things might not get better. If you experience depression, you may also notice that it affects your energy levels and motivation to get things done. Daily tasks can feel like a big effort to accomplish. This is due to the physical symptoms associated with depression, such as feelings of lethargy or changes in sleeping patterns (sleeping too much or too little). Also, feelings of guilt and self-blame are common to someone who is depressed, which are accompanied by self-attacking/self-critical thoughts and low self-esteem.
At Suaimhneas Cork CBT Therapy and Mindfulness, you will find a safe and supportive space to overcome your depression, you will be heard. Together we will help you find ways regain your energy and your ability to enjoy life again. We will work as a team to find ways to deal with these difficult emotions and thoughts, and learn to cultivate a friendlier relationship with yourself.
Depression and ‘Overthinking’ (Rumination)
If you are depressed you will probably experience overthinking, in particular thinking negatively about your problems. When we are depressed we are genuinely trying to solve our problems by thinking them through, however this can get us stuck in negative thinking patterns known as ‘rumination’. This includes dwelling on how difficult life is, the things that distress you, and the worry that things might not get better. It is a thought process whereby we get stuck thinking repeatedly about the same things. I call it the ‘washing machine’ or the ‘hamster wheel’ of the mind. We get stuck in a loop by going through the same distressing scenarios in our mind over and over.
How can CBT help with Depression?
Cognitive Behavioural psychotherapy is recommended as the treatment of choice for mild to moderate depression by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE). For more severe or major depression a combination of CBT and medication is recommended by the NICE Guidelines.
As a talking therapy for depression, CBT is a combination of cognitive therapy and behavioural therapy. Cognitive therapy works with your thoughts or perceptions to improve your mood. Treatment involves learning more balanced and helpful ways to cope with low mood and patterns of negative, self-critical and self-defeating thoughts.
In CBT, we identify habitual thought patterns that serve to maintain low mood, keeping you locked into a cycle of negative thinking. These habitual self-defeating and unhelpful thought patterns are the types of thoughts we have when we ruminate. Common symptoms of depression also comprise of low motivation or energy and a decreased capacity to experience pleasure. In CBT, we find ways to address these symptoms by helping you to improve energy levels in your day to day life so that you can once again enjoy the things in life that matter to you.
Feel free to contact us at Suaimhneas Cork CBT Therapy and Mindfulness if you have any questions or if you would like to to book an appointment. Don’t hesitate to get in touch on our contact form below, or phone us at 086 840 3722.