The loss of a loved one, a pet, going through a divorce, and losing a job can lead a person to feel sad, and even depressed, for a period of time. A mentally healthy person will eventually find the strength to move forward and learn how to cope with the loss, however, in the case of individuals who’ve been diagnosed with depression it’s not that simple. Their sadness and lows are much more severe and tend to persist for long periods of time.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, worldwide, 322 million people live with depression. In addition, women suffer from depression more than men. The most common form of depression is called Major Depressive Disorder. Ironically, people who are clinically depressed may not even know they have this condition but will show signs of reckless behavior by abusing drugs, and alcohol. Other symptoms include an increase/decrease in appetite, constant fatigue, insomnia, hypersomnia, recurring thoughts of death or suicide and a loss of interest in and pleasure in activities.
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) works exceptionally well in patients who have been diagnosed with depression, in that it helps patients identify the negative thoughts and feelings, and teaches them how to replace them with positive, supportive ones. CBT helps people change their negative thinking patterns and behavior by encouraging happiness and modifying dysfunctional emotions, actions, and thoughts.
At the Eustache Institute, our patients who suffer from depression are actively involved in their own recovery. It’s essential for them to have a sense of control as they learn coping skills that will help them throughout their life. During a session, we focus on the now (what you feel and think) rather than your past, or personality traits. CBT typically involves understanding the problem, documenting your daily activities and thoughts in between appointments, and performing homework assignments that were discussed and taught during sessions. Patients will learn the skills needed to change their thinking patterns during each therapy session, but it’s crucial they practice these skills regularly, to see a vast improvement in their mental outlook and emotional well being.
If you or someone you know has experienced many of the symptoms mentioned in this article, it’s imperative that you contact a medical professional immediately.
Dr. Elena Eustache is a specialist in neurofeedback therapy, with a Ph.D. in Psychology and Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Dr. Elena Eustache helps her patients reach their full potential so they can live the life they’ve always dreamed. You can read more about neurofeedback therapy by visiting her blog. You may also find her on Instagram and Facebook.