What is the best treatment for Depression?
Did you know that globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression?
Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. When left untreated, it can leave us feeling extremely isolated and completely withdrawn from the world around us and is often the leading cause of suicide. It sadly takes the lives of nearly 800 thousand people each year, and perhaps more astonishing, suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds. (WHO)
Here are some common symptoms of depression to look out for:
- A persistent feeling of low mood or unhappiness
- A sense of worthlessness and inadequacy with a loss of confidence
- Feelings of guilt, anxiety and irritability
- A loss of energy, general aches and pains and little motivation to do things
- A loss of interest and pleasure in day-to-day activities
- Changes in appetite – either eating less or more
- Sleep disturbance – difficulties getting off to sleep or early morning waking
- Loss of interest in sex and/or reduction in sex drive
Depression can affect people to different degrees, but if you find yourself unable to function in daily life or withdrawing from friends and family, it may be time to get help.
CBT is the treatment of choice for mild to moderate depression. If symptoms of depression are severe, and medication is required, then it has a more significant effect if combined with CBT.
Most people’s depression improves with CBT, and 87% make a full recovery. A feature of depression is hopelessness but do keep in mind that depression is treatable with CBT.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is an evidence-based form of psychotherapy that is structured and goal-oriented. It was initially developed for the treatment of depression, has the most substantial evidence base, and has been successfully adapted for the treatment of a wide range of mood and anxiety issues.
CBT looks at the connection between how you think, how you feel and how you behave, and how altering one (through therapy) affects all the others. When we are low or upset, we can fall into patterns of thinking and responding, which can worsen how we feel. CBT works to help us notice and change problematic thinking or behaviour patterns so we can feel better.
If you were already dealing with depression before the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be finding things particularly difficult right now.