There are hundreds of tried and tested counseling techniques used for the treatment of mental illness, but not all of them are equally helpful when it comes to fighting against depression. If you're feeling unmotivated and exhausted by life, retraining your brain with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective way to improve your mental health without resorting to medication. Find out why CBT works when it comes to lifting the fog of depression.
Disconnecting Thoughts and Emotions
CBT is based on the concept that you experience an external event, think about it with your cognitive mind, then form an emotional reaction. This means you can separate the thoughts and the emotions for more control in difficult situations. This means that CBT is an ideal treatment for depression patients who are also struggling with a more reactive secondary mental illness, such as anxiety or anger management.
Accepting the Right to Feel Better
Recent studies reveal that many people with long-lasting depression can't feel better about their lives, even when they improve, because they have trouble actually accepting and feeling positive emotions. Going through a course of CBT helps disable the internal pessimism known as dampening that causes many people to unconscious fight against their own recovery. After learning new techniques for controlling how you react to negative life events, you'll likely find it much easier to embrace the positive events that come along.
Changing Your Perceptions
The work done during CBT to change how you react to stimulus has long-lasting effects on your perception as a whole that can change your entire life. For example, your depression may cause you to feel worthless and take every small work mistake as proof you're not skilled in your chosen profession. Changing those perceptions about yourself and the world around you could help you release you deserve a higher rate of pay, helping you seek out a promotion or a new position that results in a measurably better life.
Learning Lifelong Coping Mechanisms
The skills you learn during your treatment sessions with the counselor will remain helpful and useful for the rest of your life. Even if you're experiencing your first depressive episode and hope to never experience it again, the emotional control skills taught as part of CBT also help with anxiety, grief, and other overwhelming feelings. You won't need to return for counseling unless you're overwhelmed and find your coping skills aren't enough for the particular situation.