Cognitive Behaviour Therapy For Depression

How Can CBT Be Used To Treat Depression?

It has been estimated by the Department of Health that depression affects 1 in 5 of the adult population.  That means 20% of people have had or will have an episode of depression that is severe enough to warrant treatment.

Depression is a broad diagnosis. Central to it is depressed mood and/or loss of pleasure in most activities. Severity of the disorder is determined by both the number and severity of symptoms, as well as the degree to which depression is affecting the way you function and many areas of your life such as personal relationships and work.

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You may be experiencing depression if you can relate to some of the following:

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day (e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful).
  • A lack of interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
  • Sleeping too much or trouble sleeping nearly every day.
  • Feelings of tiredness and loss of energy nearly every day which is observable to you and others through a lack of desire to do the things you used to do.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick).
  • A lack of ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.
  • If you can relate to a number of the above points and the symptoms have been present for at least two weeks then you would benefit in seeking support through cognitive behavioural therapy.

How can therapy help?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the single most effective psychological treatment for depression.  Your doctor will probably recommend CBT alongside anti-depressant medication.  The combination on medication and therapy is the most effective treatment to help lift the depression.  This is done by looking at replacing unhelpful behaviours with new behaviours which eventually lead to you leading a more rewarding and happy life.

How many sessions will I need? 

Recommended number of sessions range from between 6-15 sessions of CBT.

Further information can be found at www.nice.org.uk

cbt for depression