Problems linked to depression
This type of mood disorder is one of the most widespread psychopathologies among the population of Western countries : it is estimated that between 4 and 7% of the adult population has developed this alteration at some point, and to that we must add the fact is that it can also occur among minors.
However, although depression is not exactly a rare phenomenon if we stick to its presence among human beings, the truth is that most people do not know or understand the most basic aspects of this disorder very well, or how it is gives you treatment. It is common to assume that it is a disease in which it is necessary to intervene through the consumption of pills, psychotropic drugs, but this is not true.
Therefore, here we will see a summary about what the psychological treatment of depression consists of , which is beyond the world of medicine but is also very effective.
The 6 main characteristics of psychotherapy applied to depression
What is the goal of psychological intervention in depressed patients? What kinds of activities are carried out throughout the therapeutic process? How is the improvement taking place? To answer these and other questions, here we will see what are the fundamental aspects that define the psychological treatment of depression.
1. The goal is not to "block" sadness
The goal that psychologists agree on with patients has nothing to do with eliminating sadness, for two reasons.
The first is that it is not even true that all people with depression feel sad, exactly ; Some describe what they feel in other terms, such as hopelessness, little desire to live, and generally low mood, which is not exactly the same as being sad and has more to do with not finding reasons to feel enthusiasm for the experiences that every day brings us.
The second is that it is impossible to completely cancel sadness, as well as any other emotion . The solution to the problem that someone with depression goes through is not to eliminate part of their emotional repertoire, but to make it not unbalanced towards feelings related to lack of motivation, pessimism, melancholy, grief, etc. Rather than subtract sadness and other emotions that are popularly considered "negative", it is intended to facilitate the appearance of those that are not.
2. The process takes months
You probably already suspected it, but the main goal set in the first stage of psychological care for depressed patients is never short-term. It is important that the process last several months, since otherwise a level of frustration will arise capable of causing the treatment to be interrupted , which is totally counterproductive.
Also, it makes sense that it takes several weeks to notice the first results; after all, depression is a disorder expressed in almost all areas of the life of the person who develops it, and each of these emotionally painful situations acts as a kind of anchor that makes it difficult to feel good.
The key is to build momentum, so to speak, and let go of those harmful experiences that keep depression alive . This, which occurs through the cumulative effect of small day-to-day behavioral changes, does not happen overnight.
3. Not everything is based on introspection
Many people come to consultation believing that their depression can only be solved through introspection, that is, through mental activity.
The truth is that although psychological processes are very relevant in this sense, we must not forget that what crosses our minds is totally linked to our way of relating to what is beyond ourselves : our friends, our work, our projects, etc.
These factors are considered of utmost relevance in any therapy process applied to depression. Which brings us to the next point.
4. There are tasks to do between sessions
The psychotherapeutic process continues to occur once the session with the psychologist is over . There are always guidelines to follow throughout the day to day, and that have to do with improving self-knowledge and applying strategies that help to get rid of the actions that reproduce and reinforce the symptoms of depression without realizing it.
5. It is important not to skip sessions
During therapy, maintaining regular sessions with the psychologist is crucial, and failure to do so can spoil the progress made thus far.
Luckily, today there are possibilities that make it easier to achieve this , since online therapy by video call allows you to have the support of the psychologist even when you are in another country, and we are many mental health professionals who offer this modality of service .
6. The associated psychological problems must also be treated
Depression is a mood disorder that often appears at the same time as other psychopathologies. For example, it is relatively common for people who also have anxiety disorders or addictions (chemical or non-chemical) to develop it . In these cases, it makes no sense to treat depression alone, since one psychopathology reinforces the other.
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