Are you one of the walking dead? Depressed and don’t even know it? Or, you do know it, but feel that there’s no hope? Well, there is… and it doesn’t require more drugs. So, what is mindfulness-based cognitive therapy? Keep reading…
How many people do you know that face or have recovered from bouts of depression? Maybe you yourself are going through a bout of depression.
It’s not an uncommon thing. Depression may sound like an easy dilemma to overcome. Unless you are faced with depression yourself, you really don’t know what it’s like.
Depression is our minds way of reacting to situations that had previously caused us pleasure. But as it turns out, that situation to no longer exists in our lives.
So how do we react? By shutting ourselves out to all other possibilities and all kinds of pleasures. This is partly because of sorrow and partly for fear of the situation recurring again.
Centuries have passed and researchers are still working on a more viable treatment for depression. Reason being, there are multiple types of depression that can only be diagnosed by a competent doctor. This will determine the treatment needed.
6 Common Treatments for Depression:
These can range from SSRIs to SNRIs, to Atypical antidepressants to Tricyclic antidepressants… We’d be here all day if I went through the plethora of medications available. Lol 🙂
This is going to a Psychologist. Speaking about your issues with a competent mental health professional.
Hospital & Residential Treatment:
If your depression is severe enough, you may end up in the hospital. Usually, if you want to hurt yourself or others they will commit you. This way you can be safe until your mood improves.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT):
Yup, they still do this! It’s not like they did in the old days but yeah there is still the option for electrotherapy. Done in a controlled setting, electrical currents pass through your brain. The goal of this is to impact your neurotransmitters. This is believed to relieve depression. Only for people who have not gotten better with medications or are at a high risk for hurting themselves.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS):
This is a new one to me! They place a “treatment coil” on your scalp sending brief magnetic pulses through your brain. In turn, what this does is stimulate your brain’s nerve cells involved in depression and mood.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy:
Combines a form of cognitive therapy and mindfulness meditation together. The goal is to teach a person to break away from negative patterns before it takes you down.
Let’s get into more detail…
What is mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression?
There is a wide range of factors and life events that can cause depression. This can be anything from love, careers, finances, family etc… Everybody is different so the needs of every person will not be the same.
A therapist may try mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy training with the patient depending upon the complexity of their situation. This is usually a treatment that is overlooked by many therapists.
This is a form of therapy for depressed patients. This includes fighting off previous episodes of depression and getting your mind ready for other stimuli that may cause one to relapse.
The goal here is to fight it off and not let depression take hold of you.
The process involves therapy sessions of making peace with the past. This includes using mindfulness as a tool to rewire the brain and change its perspective.
By changing your perspective towards different kinds of stimuli, it’s easier to handle. In turn, you are warding off depression because this is no longer a trigger.
Normally administered by a therapist, the patients are taught to control their feelings that eventually result in depression by changing their thought patterns and views.
This doesn’t suddenly enable a patient to fight off past scars but does empower them to have more awareness of what they are thinking.
The patients will not be aware of what mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is actually doing for them at that moment… but it’s beginning to change your mind.
They are starting to become more aware of what depression is and how it’s affecting their lives.
By having this new awareness of your thoughts, you can take control of them in ways you have never imagined. Doesn’t that sound exciting!
I don’t know the reason why more people don’t opt for this kind of therapy. I can only assume we need to get the word out to more people and make them aware!
My Own Bouts of depression and Mindfulness:
Personally, for me, it has changed my life. No B.S. I so overweight and depressed I absolutely hated myself at one point in my life for a long time. But then I found mindfulness, and it all changed from there.
Now I’m not saying I don’t have my bad days because I do, just like everyone else. But where I think I differ from most people is I notice when I’m down.
Meaning I acknowledge it, try to determine what it is that’s making me upset, angry, depressed… whatever the case may be, and turn it around with my positive affirmations.
Yup, that’s it. That’s my secret to staying level-headed in these situations. Sometimes if it’s a really bad situation and it’s possible, I’ll put my headphones on and meditate.
It’s very difficult to stay angry after meditation 🙂
But How does it really help you?
Once your brain experiences a panic or an anxiety attack and subsequently lands into depression, an impression is deeply imprinted on your mind that is very difficult to change.
That is if you are not aware of the brain’s functioning, which normally most people aren’t.
A mindfulness-based cognitive therapy session is more like a psychology class. Except, you are not studying to heal others, but only yourself.
The therapy program is just like sessions with a typical therapist. However, this no just your typical, run of the mill therapy… there are some differences from your typical ‘talk-it-out’ type of therapy.
These type of sessions are done with qualified mental health specialists who derive their curriculum from their own experiences and knowledge.
They will deliver you facts about the minds function and also guide you as to how to NOT let your mind damage itself again. This is the difference.
All this is done by:
Subsequently, the more you practice these techniques, your mind starts building the link between what happens and how you respond to it. This is your path to awareness.
These are normally the thoughts we don’t catch that otherwise become reliant on your subconscious for the response, or action.
This way, a possible episode of depression is prevented as the patient is already aware of possible upcoming circumstances.
This will then change outcomes, and now they have the ability to control what they feel. The views and experiences, however, differ from patient to patient, of course.
How does mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral training therapy work?
During this type of therapy session, a patient is taught to embed only one simple thing into their minds: it is not the circumstances that shape us but how we respond to them.
For instance, someone suffering from the death of a close loved one may find themselves bearing down on depression… but during a behavioral training therapy session, the patient will be made to realize that what’s gone is gone and what has past, is the past.
For example, the loved one may have meant a lot to you but once you know there is no going back to the past. The patient is then taught to change their routines.
.The goal here is to minimize the number of situations where the lost loved one was involved in their lives.
In turn, this brings attention to the fact that this person is no longer here, and we can’t change that. So why continue to damage current relationships and the people around them for someone that no longer exists?
The therapy then results in a more satisfied state of mind for the patient and reduces any risks of downward spirals and depressive episodes.
Finally, the patient is out of the dilemma they were in and moves over to a more creative and productive stage of their life.
Conclusion - Do you really need therapy?
If you read this all the way down till here because you could relate to conditions in your life where these techniques would otherwise be helpful to you.
Maybe you consider going for a mindfulness-based cognitive therapy session or for cognitive behavioral therapy training.
Depression is a disease which should be controlled before it takes hold of you and proves to be a barrier to living the only one life you’ve been preciously gifted. And if you’ve been looking for an alternative to medication to help control your depression… this may be the way!
This type of therapy is for everyone, young and old. It’s all about changing your perspective about what’s making you depressed. To realize that there is another way of thinking about the situation.
Helping to pull you out of the depression you may be in at the time.
Another thing is to be more mindful of the situations you put yourself in… Do your best not go back to your old routines and pass places that may depress you for one reason or another.
Time heals all wounds… However, some definitely take longer than others!
I have written a great review on a mindful meditation product from Centerpointe Institute called their Holosync Program.
This is the program that has changed my life and I recommend you take a few minutes out of your busy day to read!
So, are you ready to stop the B.S. and get rid of that depression?
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What do you think about Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression? Are you a believer in the practice or a skeptic? I would love to hear any and all of your thoughts!
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“What would it be like if I could accept life – accept this moment – exactly as it is?”
~ Tara Brach