Depression isn’t as straight-forward a condition as many want people to believe it is. It can present in all manner of different circumstances and is far from having a clearly defined or linear path to recovery. What works for one person may be the antithesis of what’s required in another situation. There is no real right way of treating depression. There is only the way that works best for you. Here are five conventional and five alternative treatments that could assist in a well thought out treatment plan.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a talked-based therapy that focuses on the concept that your thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations are all interconnected and provide a picture of your mental state of wellbeing. It has been highly successful in the past in treating both anxiety and depression as well as a whole host of other mental health issues.
Group Therapy (CBT)
Although group CBT may seem like an intimidating prospect, sharing your issues with people you don’t know, that is where the strength of this form of therapy lies. Through empathising with the challenges of others you’re able to see that you’re not alone. It provides validation with the act of listening to others serving as a useful mirror for your own situation.
Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is a specialised form of psychotherapy that focuses on your relationships with those you’re closest to. The concept of this modality is that our interpersonal relationships are at the heart of many of our phycological problems. Studies have found it to be as effective as antidepressant medications for treating depression.
While CBT and IPT are based on the idea of modifying thought processes and behaviours, Psychodynamic Therapy works on the premise of Freudian psychoanalysis. It is a lot less structured than both those modalities with the open-ended structure, meaning that treatment can last up to a year to several years in severe cases of depression.
In many cases, medication can be avoided when dealing with depression. But when the quality of your life is being affected to the extent you can no longer work or take care of your responsibilities, antidepressants can be a short-term solution that can be coupled with a course of talk therapy to address the root cause of your challenges.
Creative-based and other arts therapies serve as complementary therapies. But their value shouldn’t be understated. If you’re able to find a craft that you respond well to whether it be music, painting, or writing, it can act as a huge boost to your wellbeing. The sense of fulfilment you get from completing a new piece of work can have a profound impact on the speed of recovery.
Mindfulness has its roots in Buddhism. It is sometimes thought of as being only a form of meditation, but in actuality, it’s more a state of mind and attitude. It’s a way of living. You can apply mindfulness to all areas of your life. But where it comes in particularly useful for depression is by paying attention to how you’re feeling in response to your everyday activities. It’s a tool for discerning where you’re at emotionally.
Hypnotherapy has received a huge push in recent years, because of the ability it has to act on the subconscious mind. What can take other modalities such as IPT and CBT months to accomplish, hypnotherapy can often achieve in a single session. It gets right to the source of why you’re feeling the way you are, allowing you to move beyond limiting beliefs and traumas much quicker.
While not a form of treatment per se, peer support is a vital component of any successful recovery. The power of the internet and social media has made it so you can connect with like-minded people from all over the world with relative ease. You can join Facebook groups, and other online forums, but also don’t discount the services in your local area and the willingness of friends and family to help out.
Cranio Sacral Therapy
Cranio Sacral Therapy (CST) is a holistic treatment that works on the subtle layers of your energy body. It is energy work that also has a physical component. The practitioner applies very light touch to the body, which, by doing so, can release emotional blockages that are held within the body. Although it isn’t a recognised treatment for depression, it’s gaining increased attention for its effectiveness.
About the author:
Dr Becky Spelman is a leading UK Psychologist who’s had great success helping her clients manage and overcome a multitude of mental illnesses.
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