At its worst, depression can feel like dark days and lonely nights – only pain, suffering, and loneliness seem to fill our empty spaces, painting the background of every thought, word, or movement. In its most severe form, depression could be described as a “black hole”, a “storm”, or even “death”. Mild depression can feel like a sort of gloomy yet functioning state of being, with many people experiencing themselves on “autopilot” or “zombie mode”, causing them to fade in and out of each day such as the ocean waves hit the sandy beach. Depression is much more than a bad mood, it’s a complete takeover of the mind, body, and spirit – only addressing each of these and filling the gaps can make this hijacker go away.
As Harvard Health states, depression is much more than “faulty wiring” – it’s a complex mental disorder that is also impacted by one’s genes which make a person more susceptible to developing depression, as well as one’s temperament, stressful life events, early losses, trauma, and more. Those with depression often find themselves riddled with anxiety, guilt, hopelessness, and even anger, which can continue as a downward spiral so long as proper treatment isn’t sought. Medications can help a person alter the chemicals in their brain towards a healthier shift for recovery, but that alone often does not take care of depression completely.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psycho-social intervention that helps clients to develop new pathways and connections in the brain through healthier thinking and behavioral patterns. A 2016 study published in the journal Behavior Therapy sought to explore the effects of CBT on depression by recruiting participants with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD) or dysthymia, a form of persistent yet mild depression. Participants were offered group CBT therapy for 14 weeks at 2 hours each week, and they completed several questionnaires related to depression and homework practice (often found in CBT therapy). Overall, researchers found that CBT significantly decreased depressive symptoms in participants, making this an excellent approach (with efficacy) in therapy.
Depression can cause us to withdrawal from the very real “life” components that are worth living for. CBT brings us back to that place, and gives us the tools we need to find healing. Begin your journey to recovery today.
Avalon Integrative Wellness offers an innovative approach to wellness and the exciting brand shift of our program emphasizes the importance of integrative wellness through experiential frameworks. Clients at Avalon Integrative Wellness learn, act, experience, grow, heal, and evolve, concurrently. If you’re ready to optimize your health and well-being, call us today at 888-266-9048.