One of the most prevalent and debilitating psychiatric disorders, depression requires much more than just medicines for a successful treatment. With substantial impairment in social and occupational functioning and its frequent co-morbidity with other chronic illnesses, depression extends an enormous economic burden leveraging healthcare costs. 
The main mode of treatment in overcoming depression is the use of psychotropic medicines (anti-depressants) which, while altering your brain chemistry, are also capable of extreme side effects.  However, yoga, herbs, foods, and acupuncture are all shown to have significant effects in uplifting your mood and improving cognition associated with depression.
Experts also regard the usefulness of various types of psychotherapies in treating depression naturally or in conjunction with ongoing prescription drugs. October 10 is observed as World Mental Health Day (#WorldMentalHealthDay) and one such therapy widely used in treating clinical depression and improving mental health is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). 
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Depression
Depression starts with a conflict in your natural reaction to emotions, aggravating your feelings of sadness, pessimism, negative beliefs about the self, decreased motivation and changes in your sleep appetite. While there is a definite change in the brain chemistry (production and uptake of neurotransmitters), the behavioral traits which manifest as a result of this can do more harm than intended.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a form of psychotherapy which was developed in the 1960s as an alternative way to tackle the behavioral aspects associated with depression by psychotherapist Aaron Beck. The National Alliance of Mental Illnesses defines this mode of therapy as a form of treatment that focuses on examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
In simple terms it a mental toolkit which can help explore the thinking patterns of a depressed patient and then channel these very patterns to tackle negative thoughts and emotions. A cognitive therapist helps his patients identify the thoughts of self-worthlessness and instead turn them around or replace them with more constructive and benign thoughts.
How It Works
The central principle of this therapy is spotting negative or false beliefs that a depressed person harbors and helping him reconstruct them into more optimistic ones. As the therapy progresses, the therapist focuses more on reframing the deep core beliefs that the patient holds dear about self and the world. CBT is not projecting positive thinking, but rather realistic thinking among patients.
Research has highlighted the benefits of CBT not only in treating depression but also mood and anxiety disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse, sleep disorders and other mental health illnesses.[4,5,6]
- Large population-based studies have illuminated its effectiveness in treating depression even without the use of antidepressant medicines. [7,8]
- Not only can it treat residual symptoms of depression but also prevent relapses.
- Besides improving the mood, CBT can also aid to tackle the physical symptoms of depression—improving overall energy, quality of sleep, appetite and also sexual health.
If you think you are facing depression, call or visit your physician today. By examining and categorizing your symptoms, your physician can help direct your treatment or even suggest a specialist.
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