Most people who suffer from depression are never actually treated for it. Those who are can often run into obstacles that prevent them from getting the care they need. Treatment of depression can include both medication and psychotherapy or one or the other. Most professionals will allow the patient to choose which option is best for that person. However, psychotherapy usually produces more obstacles than medication, because it requires a person to look to themselves for the causes and solutions of their depression.
What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is a method of treatment that involves looking at a patients’ behaviors, thoughts, feelings, and moods in order to show them how each of these aspects is affecting their mind. It also allows a patient to learn about his or her disorder to try to put into perspective what their condition is doing to them. There are many different types of psychotherapy and each of them has a specific purpose. For depression, cognitive-behavioral approaches tend to be the most common treatment.
The cognitive theory is a theory that says how we feel is based largely on what we think. It latches onto cognitive errors of patients and works to try to alter those ways of thinking in order to help the person cope with his or her depression.
What Depression Does
Oftentimes, a patient with depression will exhibit cognitive errors that place the blame for their feelings onto something he or she did or did not do in the past. The patient tends to place blame on him or herself, which tends to worsen the depression. With cognitive-behavioral therapy, the therapist tries to expose these negative ways of thinking and alter them by replacing them with more positive behaviors. Through this, patients are able to understand why they think the way they do about themselves and can better combat the negative feelings they have.
Sometimes, however, a patient with depression is unable to recognize what is causing the depression symptoms. This can be the result of different obstacles that may interfere with the progress of psychotherapy. To overcome these obstacles, it is important to follow these tips:
- Be honest – The patient needs to be honest with your therapist. It can be difficult revealing a person’s innermost thoughts and feelings to someone that person barely knows, but it is important to recognize that doing so will help the patient understand and take control over his or her life rather than let it be ruled by depression.
- Willingness for change – The patient needs to be willing to change. A therapist may ask the patient to do things that he or she does not necessarily want to do. However, it is essential that he or she go into each of those things with an open mind because it will most likely lead to progress with the illness.
- Break through belief perseverance –It may become necessary for a patient to question his or her belief system. Something that is deeply ingrained into a patient’s head can often lead to depression because of a failure to live up to certain standards or feelings of inevitability due to family history. It is important for patients not to get stuck on certain beliefs because it can inhibit their ability to improve their situation.
- Acceptance – The patient needs to be willing to accept that therapy is a collaborative process between the patient and the therapist. It is not the patient’s sole responsibility to change his or her thinking overnight, nor is it that of the therapist. The two need to work hand-in-hand in order to ensure that the patient is working through what he or she needs to in order to overcome depression.