As the United States faces an unprecedented mental health crisis, new methods of treating these conditions are being discovered more often than ever before. One method that has recently gained attention is dialectical behavior therapy for depression.
If you or a loved one is struggling with this mental health disorder, looking into DBT for depression can set you on the path to long-term recovery and the chance to lead a happier, healthier life.
What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of psychotherapy that was originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD) but has since been found to be effective for a variety of other mental health conditions, including substance abuse and depression.
This form of therapy is a comprehensive treatment that teaches individuals skills to manage their emotions, tolerate distress, improve their relationships, and make positive changes in their lives.
DBT is based on the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) while also incorporating elements of mindfulness and acceptance-based therapy. The goal of DBT is to help people with BPD and other mental health conditions develop the skills they need to manage their emotions, tolerate distress, and improve their relationships with others.
This treatment method is typically delivered in a group setting, although it can also be provided through individual therapy sessions, as well. The group sessions focus on teaching participants the skills they need to manage their emotions and behaviors, while individual therapy sessions focus on applying these skills to the participant’s own life.
DBT can be provided through a specially trained therapist as part of a private practice or incorporated into a more comprehensive treatment program. The best setting for you can vary based on your specific symptoms and lifestyle.
Does DBT for Depression Work?
When using DBT therapy for depression, this treatment method can be helpful for managing the symptoms and hardships of this condition in many ways. Some of the most common ways DBT has been found to help treat depression include:
- Improved mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment without judgment, which can help people with depression become more aware of their thoughts and feelings and better manage them.
- Better emotional regulation: Emotional regulation is the ability to manage intense emotions in a healthy way. DBT teaches people with depression skills such as identifying their emotions, using relaxation techniques, and distracting themselves from negative thoughts.
- Higher distress tolerance: Distress tolerance is the ability to cope with difficult situations without resorting to self-harm or other unhealthy behaviors. DBT teaches those struggling with depression skills such as accepting pain, using self-soothing techniques, and practicing distraction.
- Interpersonal effectiveness: This is the ability to communicate effectively with others and is a skill DBT teaches people with depression to improve assertive communication, conflict resolution, and setting healthy boundaries.
By building each of these skills through participating in DBT, you will be able to better manage your symptoms on your own and learn how to properly cope with your depression in the long term.
Understanding DBT Techniques
DBT techniques for depression are based on the idea that two seemingly opposite truths can exist at the same time. This concept is known as dialectics. In DBT, therapists help clients to accept and balance two opposing truths:
- Acceptance: Clients are taught to accept themselves and their current situation, even if it is not ideal.
- Change: Clients are also taught to make changes in their lives, even if it is difficult.
This is primarily done through using techniques such as talk therapy, mindfulness meditation, and both individual and group therapy sessions. By combining each of these techniques, your therapist can successfully help you navigate and process your difficult thoughts and feelings and better manage your depression symptoms.
How Else Is Depression Treated?
As a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, think, and act, there are many treatment options available for depression in addition to DBT. The most effective treatments for depression are a combination of psychotherapy (talk therapy) and medication.
Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, is a type of treatment that involves talking to a mental health professional about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. There are many different types of psychotherapy, including DBT, as well as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), and several others.
In terms of medications, antidepressants are a key treatment method for improving the mood and chemical balance of people with depression. These medications work by increasing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain that are thought to play a role in mood regulation.
In addition to professional treatment, there are also things you can do to help manage your depression on your own, such as:
- Getting regular exercise
- Eating a healthy diet
- Getting enough sleep
- Avoiding alcohol and drugs
- Connecting with others
Ultimately, the best approach to treating your depression will depend on your specific symptoms and lifestyle. If your symptoms are too severe to manage on your own, it may be a good idea to look into a professional mental health treatment center that can offer more intensive support.
DBT for Depression at Royal Life Centers
At Royal Life Centers, we take your recovery seriously, whether it be from depression, substance abuse, or any other behavioral health problem. Our comprehensive treatment plans offer you access to a full continuum of care, including treatment services such as:
- Medical detox
- Residential treatment
- Partial hospitalization
- Outpatient treatment
- Medication management
- Behavioral and holistic therapies
- Aftercare services
In addition to these treatment options, we also have certified DBT therapists on staff ready to provide you with the support and care you need to better understand your depression and manage your symptoms.
Seeking professional help can seem scary, but this will ultimately be one of the best decisions you can make on your road to recovery from depression. If you would like to learn more about how our treatment facility can be a great fit for you, reach out to us today!
No matter the severity of your substance abuse issues or personal treatment preferences, we offer a variety of services to meet each of your care needs. Call us at 877-RECOVERY today to learn more about our treatment programs and how you can get started on the path to recovery today!