If cognitive behavior therapy is said to help severe depression, then that indicates it's the person's fault they have this disgusting life sucking illness. I know for a fact chemical imbalance plays the major role, so why the double talk. Your brain will absolutely NOT allow the right kind of thoughts so how do you make it and deal with the sever apathy. If there is proof this corrects the chemical imbalance, (cognitive behavior), can someone tell me where to find the testing results? thank you!
I'm sorry buzzlebee, but I am in total agreeance with you, so I think that meds are usually the answer.
At one time in my life I was severely depressed (post-partum) and my insurance company made me attend GBT along with seeing a p doc, the CBT did nothing for me, in fact it was a total waste of money, but I did have a very nice counselor. The medication IS what worked.
I truly hope you are feeling better soon, that whatever medication you are on starts working. It's such a crap shoot, medication wise. They throw meds at us to see what sticks!
Sorry I could not answer your question!
Funny you should ask that question. I was at the therapist today. He is very good. Goal oriented and doing the cognitive thing with me. When goal oriented you learn to change how you handle stress. Medication works with that getting the brain in order. One is less anxious, hopefully, and can think better. The real work is knowing how one generates the stress.
Since anxiety is at the root of depression and the stress to the body becomes cortisol overload, the chemicals in the brain end up screwed up because our normal joy is stopped. And that means no endorphins. And endorphins gone makes pain as there is no pleasure. And then we look for more drugs like opiates to give the joy. And the brain says, "works for me cause I don't know where it is coming from anyway. I just want endorphins."
Therapist says take meds to put back the missing chemicals. Then they say, let us find a way to reduce your stress so this doesn't keep happening. Finally one day ya get it. And that problem disappears. We regain control, stress goes down, cortisol is less, joy enters in and we feel better. Then we may taper off the drugs and fly solo. Except, as below.
Now, no therapist and just drugs doesn't give us the connection to make a change and keep from repeating the same behaviors that keep us stressed. The pain of depression is as strong as any physical ailment and if long enough the body feels it too. Stress builds and down the line ya got an autoimmune disease. Welcome to my life and most everyone on this site!
For those whose body have a genetic problem like bipolar and chronic depression, (and lots of other serious conditons) the system is out of whack and cannot repair itself. So drugs are important and many here know that route, too. Yet, therapy can give someone ways to cope, sounding board and, yes, there are habits or views to change in any of us.
The brain is under our control. Completely. It is not some alien force feeding us thoughts. It is me for my thoughts. Or it is you for yours. That is why we can stop intrusive thoughts, behaviors, conduct. Phobic people fix the fear themselves. They learn to change. All of us can do this if we choose. The therapist helps with connections we have not learned and can show us how to do this. Ever watch Dr Phil?
Before ya vent about lousy therapists let me say that if you find a good one, you will make real and positive progress. If you don't feel progress find another. There is no magic pill and unrelieved stress levels will undo any med. we can and do make ourselves crazy- biochem imbalance set aside, that is.
As far as proof there are many, many studies done over decades. Starting with Freud and Jung the first case histories were reported and put into theory and context. They weren't using current psychotropics, that is for sure. Talk, they just used talk.
Today the behaviorists don't delve into all the things wrong in your life. They fix what you need for now. Yes, my parents were thoughtless, cruel and abusive. But I am dealing with a life ending illness. Tell me which makes More sense to talk about? I already know that growing up under constant stress leads to an autoimmune disease. I got that.
Cognitive therapy works. Millions have been helped. Millions too scared to ask for the help. millions sitting on the fence. Being ready to make a change is the answer. Most people are unable to do so on their own.
Just my thoughts and years of study and experience. Ya did ask, ya know? Karen
I have a lifetime history of mental illness, I am also a long term recovering alcoholic.
Without a doubt my history of depression is linked to a chemical imbalance and perhaps too makes me genetically predisposed to addiction, behaviours, ADD, OCD phobias, etc. I am a cynic when it comes to counselling but sometimes when the pain of living becomes too much, one is willing to try anything and for that reason I tried CBT and actually it worked. Its a technique for dealing with stress, panic attacks, worst case scenarios, readjusting learned thinking patterns with positive instead of negative. Its success does not mean that one is no longer depressed ( it worked for my agrophobia) I still am on medication and have periodic severe episodes of depression even on medication but it makes day to day living easier, a more positive attitude WHEN APPLIED. I have also tried EDMR but can't say it worked or not. I am not evangelical about anything, we are all unique, what works for me may not work for you. I hope I answered your question but really you probably need a professional to answer it definitively.
I'll get right to the point, therapy is important for two reasons. It is possible to retrain the mind and in the process, change the chemical make up of your brain. This has been proven through scans of the brain before and after meditation for example.
Unfortunatley, clinical depression, which occurs over long periods of time, requires us to learn certain coping skills. Therapy can teach us to undo the negative coping skills and retrain the mind in such a way that we actually not only learn more beneficial skills, but also perpetuate further positive behavior. A perfect example of this is the use of street drugs and alcohol to numb the brain, if you will, and help us cope with the negative feelings which arise while depressed. Once this becomes a habit, we have to unlearn the behavior both physically and mentally learning to cope with the negative feelings in a more positive, healthy way. A good therapist can help us with this process. A process which can be gruelling, but very rewarding to say the least.
I'm reading a book right now title, "The Emotional Life of Your Brain." It explains the very topic which you have presented. We are genetically predispositioned to be a certain way emotionally, but through certain behavioral changes we can actually change the brain chemistry to improve our mental state. I haven't finished the book so can't expand much, but leave it to say that it is possible and scientifically proven. The author of the book did her doctoral research on the subject, and while it wasn't a favorable topic in the psychiatric community at the time, was very successful in proving her hypothesis.
I want to encourage you to further contemplate the usefulness of therapy. It has helped me trremendously though I have also been on medication for many, many years and probably always will be. I have been able to untrain the negative messages that accompany the depressive states and develop coping skills that allow me to lead a fairly productive, content life. It hasn't been easy but the effort has been well worth the journey.
Hello buzzlessbee. Two comments on two of your points. First, yes cognitive behaviour does help treating depression, along with drug therapy but does not cure the illness. My second is that to my knowledge there is no proof that it actually corrects the inbalance of chemicals. Regards, pledge
You learn to THINK differently. Although you think that you cannot change a chemical imbalance you are wrong. Behavioral therapy is another form of biofeedback. You CAN change the chemicals in your brain, reduce pain in your body, whatever you want, if you put your mind to it. I'm not saying that it works every time, but everyone can tell you a miracle story or two about people who have cured their cancer or whatever without chemo for example. Those examples alone should let you know that the mind is extremely powerful, and we have only just started to touch the surface of what we can do with our minds. Did you know that the same tissue found in your brain is also found in your digestive system? If you listen to old Indian "folklore", people have two brains. Now they know it's true! You can do anything that you put your mind to do, it just helps with behavioral counseling, (and a good counselor)!!! Good luck! You can do it!! I did!!
I've been plagued with major, clinical depression for over 45 years. I'm treatment resistant now so I've created my own cocktail of meds that I finally got a shrink to prescribe. Actually I have to have 2 shrinks. I'm on full, permanent disability for this condition. I made a lot of money in the TI field, so my check is pretty good.
Anyway, I know for an absolute fact that my depression is not caused by any thought processes. This horrible, terrible, gross feeling that something is terribly wrong is just there. All the time, regardless of what I'm thinking and especially when thinking positive thoughts. ??? Hmmm. I do agree that mindfulness meditation/breathing does help, though, but Not this idea that if you think good thoughts that your brain will fix this horrible nightmare of an existence. It's just not possible. Anyway, whatever. Praise God, anyhow!!!
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