Psychotherapy or Talk Therapy is used to help treat depression. There are a many types of psychotherapy including: cognitive-behavioral, behavioral, interpersonal and psychoanalytic. These types of therapies help patients pin-point the factors that contribute to their depression. Therapists can help patients identify problems and set realistic goals that will help them elevate their mental well-being. They can also help patients overcome negative thinking patterns, by developing a more positive outlook on life. This helps patients understand and improve these patterns to help them regain control of their life.
Psychotherapy is often used in conjunction with anti-depressants. This gives patients the best chance of recovering from depression.
Click here to find a therapist near you. (Courtesy of Psychology Today)
According to www.healthyplace.com, cognitive-behavioral therapy helps patients “(1) identify, test, and reshape negative cognitions about themselves, the world, and the future, (2) develop new and more flexible cognitive patterns or schema that are alternatives to depressogenic ways of viewing life experiences, and (3) rehearse new cognitive and behavioral responses.”
Interpersonal Psychotherapy focuses on four main areas:
“1. Grief reaction to "exit events," losses, and bereavement, which is treated by facilitating grief work and encouraging the patient to compensate for losses by engaging in other relationships.
2. Interpersonal role disputes and conflicts with significant others, which are treated by strategies for resolving disputes or facilitating the process of ending negative relationships.
3. Role transitions and changes that add stress and threaten self-esteem, which are treated by helping the patient develop a sense of mastery in new roles.
4. Interpersonal deficits reflected in the patient’s history and current circumstances involving inadequate or unsatisfying relationships, which are treated by strategies to reduce social isolation by building the social skills and opportunities needed to develop and maintain supportive relationships,” according to www.healthyplace.com.
Behavioral Therapies are more of a self-control therapy where a patient monitors their mood and activity. This type of therapy also helps patients develop self-reinforcement patterns and cognitive skills that will improve their problem-solving and decision-making skills.
Psychoanalytic therapy helps patients confront problems that originated earlier in their life and focuses on addressing these patterns.
John Preston, Psy.D., and author of You Can Beat Depression: A Guide to Prevention and Recovery gives his thoughts on depression. (courtesy of www.impactpublishers.com)
Preston said, “The National Institute of Mental Health reports that more than 80 percent of people who are treated for depression are significantly helped. However, this depends on receiving adequate treatment; for example, a combination of psychotherapy and antidepressant medications. Even though depression is considered to be a very treatable disorder, only 25 percent of those who suffer ever seek out treatment and many who are treated do not receive what is considered to be state-of-the-art treatments.”
Preston also commented on how you can help yourself over come depression. He gives a list of things that might help.
He said, “Reduce or eliminate caffeine (it destroys sleep which then often makes depression worse).
Eliminate alcohol use (alcohol is one of the most potent depression-causing chemicals a person can use. It is, however, seductive, since the immediate effect is to cause relaxation and some easing of depressive feelings). Most people experiencing depression, who are using significant amounts of alcohol, will encounter tremendous difficulties in overcoming depression. Reducing or eliminating alcohol may be the single most important step in combating depression. The biggest obstacle is denial. Most people who overuse alcohol minimize its impact or think that it is not contributing to problems with depression. Finally, Caution: If you have been using significant amounts of alcohol on a daily basis, please do not stop “cold turkey.” Acute alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous. Please consult with your physician about how to conduct a safe program of withdrawal.
Stay connected with others. Marked social isolation invariably will increase depression.
Be decent to yourself. Ruthless self-criticism is a very common experience during depression. At the heart of healing from depression is the ability to develop an attitude of compassion for one’s self.
Don’t become a couch potato. Inactivity can contribute to changes in brain chemistry that aggravate depression. At least 10 minutes of exercise (even walking) per day can help (20-30 minutes a day is even better).
These self-help ideas often are almost impossible for depressed people to do owing to depression’s impact on energy and motivation. Thus, it may be essential for you to enlist the help of a family member or friend to provide encouragement or a kick in the rear to get you started taking care of yourself.
If the depression has seemed to come out of the blue, it’s always a good idea to see your family doctor to make sure it is not due to a medical illness or to prescription drugs.”