Depression is regarded as one of the leading causes of disability worldwide, according to (ADAA ,2018). The last recorded statistic stated 322 million people were sufferers of depression around the globe. There are various types of depression, from major to the more specific cases of premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Many sufferers start with symptoms of anxiety and progress to depressive states.
These mental health conditions can be dangerous if left untreated. Latest research has uncovered that close to 800,000 people have died due to suicide every year, a large proportion of these cases linked to depression. Cases of young people suffering from anxiety has risen in the last 10 years, with suicide being the second leading cause of death amongst 15-29 year olds.
With depression on the rise. What other treatments can those feeling symptoms of depression explore? What is talk therapy? And how can it help conditions like depression?
Benefits of Talk Therapy
Talk therapy is the act of talking with someone who is trained to deal with negative emotions and recommend a positive course of action. Typically talk therapy is undertaken by a licensed therapist of councillor and is becoming a popular form of therapy in helping tackle mental health conditions.
There are countless benefits to talk therapy, many sufferers find that talk therapy helps to reduce stress and express their current state of emotion in a judge-free environment. Here are a few other benefits of talk therapy:
- A way of relieving built-up stress and anxiety
- Time to talk, think and share emotions
- Space to share emotions without judgments or reaction
- Improve social skills and build relationship building
Talk therapy can come in many formats. The form of therapy is used with couples relationship, group counselling and even group therapy activities in which you can use in groups to express awareness around mental health conditions.
Using Talk Therapy for Depression
Depression is the persistent feeling of sadness over a prolonged period of time for weeks or months, rather than a few days. Those with longer forms of health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and multiple sclerosis are more susceptible to depression. The symptoms of depression can come in many forms, some are listed in the link.
Common symptoms associated with depression include loss of interest, lack of enjoyment in simple parts of life, feeling irritable and low energy, sleep issues, loss of appetite and not being able to cope or focus on everyday tasks.
Treatment for depression is typically comes in the form of therapy of talk therapies, combined with lifestyle changes and prescribed medication. Therapists are traditionally the ones who handle depression-based talk therapy but there are alternatives to make note of:
- Psychiatrists – A medical doctor that treats mental illnesses. Typically prescribes medication, but also can provide talk therapy.
- Psychologists – A psychologist helps you to learn how manage depression and teach ways to cope with this.
- Counselors – A mental health professional that can help you manage and cope with your depression.
It’s important to understand these types of roles before you commit. And a stated by Boston-based clinical psychologist, Eric Endlich, PhD “Your comfort level with a therapy is much more important that what kind of degree that person has”.
Thanks to the nature of depression, using talk therapy to openly share emotions will help find the best way forward. Many of those suffering from depression have praised talk therapy as a constructive, accessible way to reduce symptoms and help address their concerns.
How to Get Started with Talk Therapy
There are a range of types of therapy that can be recommended to those suffering depression. They include CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), interpersonal psychotherapy, brief dynamic interpersonal therapy, couple therapy for depression and counselling, all can be used for addressing depression. All of these types of talk therapy can be uncovered further in a 2016 Department of Health information sheet.
Talk therapies are all included in these forms of therapy and can be used to help produce results. As you get started with therapy, here are ways to embrace talk therapy during sessions with a therapy and alternative ways to use talk therapy.
Making the most of your time during talk therapy can be a healthy approach. During these sessions with therapists, you are paying and tend to have a limited amount of time to draw out all of your concerns.
Before sessions, make your therapist aware of how you feel and how your previous week has been, so they are fully aware of your state of mind. This can really help the therapist navigate the best session for your current issues.
Talk therapy could be an element of your session, but during this time your therapist will most likely prescribe or get you involved in active talk therapy with exercises, affirmations, and even homework.
Talk therapy is very personal, so during the session, communicating with the therapist in an honest and upfront way will only help them to produce the best treatment package for you to go away with, to help improve your talk therapy, try introducing eye-contact as you speak with your therapists, speak to them about all aspects of your life that cause strain and don’t be afraid to share relationships.
Continue with family and friends
After sessions, if suitable, speak with family or friends about how you are feeling. Creating a support network of those close to you will keep them in the loop and enlist a healthy attitude to your progress. With a health professional offering advice, the road to success
Depression is a condition that takes time to address and if you feel comfortable, share with your family and friends about what the therapist addressed and assigned to you for homework. This will make the sessions more accountable and provide a natural support network.
Therapy doesn’t mean 1:1 intensive sessions.
Therapy isn’t designed to be intensive. 1:1 in-person therapy have proven to be an effective way to start treatment. But with the rise of Skype and other such resources, online therapy has been a popular topic for many young people as a way to begin therapy.
With plenty of resources offering 1:1 therapy, with smartphones and high-quality cameras and streaming bandwidth, this has become more accessible. Online therapists have become a proven way to get started with therapy and a much more approachable take on therapy. This is something to consider outside of traditional therapy.
Go above and beyond with homework
Homework is a productive way to address what is learnt in sessions, outside of sessions.
A therapist assigning homework can help outside of sessions dramatically. This prescribed work has been tailored for you to be completed across everyday. Whether it is a worksheet or an active writing task, taking the bull by the horns is recommended here. With talk therapy, homework tends to orientate around speaking with others and actively addressing concerns or speaking through the specifics of your condition. Taking homework and making sure to complete it is so very important to the success of the treatment.
Talk therapy can be used to help support depression alongside other such resources like meditation, self-help books, support groups, medication. Please seek guidance for medical treatment for all mental health symptoms.
Let us know in the comments if you’ve found talk therapy to be beneficial in addressing depressive symptoms. Share with friends and family to help pass on useful resources.