Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based therapy method most known for treating borderline personality disorder (BPD)--an emotional disorder marked by intense and unpredictable emotional reactions which can be extremely difficult to manage and control.
As effective as DBT has been in treating those individuals, there’s a common misconception that DBT is only for people with BPD. The truth is, DBT can be a highly effective treatment option for a variety of mental issues--not just people with BPD. People with depression, for example--a group that represents roughly 8.1% of the adult population in the US--can greatly benefit from DBT treatment as well.
If you currently suffer from depression, here's a quick guide on how DBT treatment for depression can help you regain control of your emotions, improve your self-esteem, and
start improving your overall quality of life.
DBT was originally developed in the late 1980s in an effort to help people with BPD manage abnormal emotional responses and avoid harmful thought patterns or behavior. DBT gives these individuals a set of principles and mindfulness techniques that help guide them through emotional difficulties in a more structured and consistent way.
Since a variety of other mental illnesses also impact the way people process emotions and encounter obstacles, DBT has grown to be a highly versatile and effective treatment for people who exhibit any kind of emotional control issue. For people suffering from depression, specifically, DBT has been known to drastically alleviate the strains and obstacles commonly associated with or brought on by the illness.
Here are a few ways DBT treatment can help people with depression make major breakthroughs in their lives.
DBT helps improve your ability to make rational decisions
Especially for people battling with depression, it's easy to make decisions based on how we feel instead of what we know is the right or logical thing to do. Even when we know certain behaviors are unproductive or potentially harmful, we might do them anyway because our emotional responses to difficult situations tend to override our higher-level thinking skills.
DBT helps people with depression strengthen their decision-making skills by showing them that rational decisions will consistently produce better and more positive results than if that person were to make a decision out of anger, fear, sadness, etc. DBT’s overall goal isn’t to turn people into emotionless decision-makers by any means; rather, the goal is to train people how to ground themselves and make healthy decisions whenever possible.
DBT helps you regulate your emotions
When DBT is used to treat depression, it gives you valuable coping skills that will help you maintain stronger control over your emotions. DBT can teach you how to recognize your bad habits, thought patterns, or otherwise self-defeating behaviors that play a role in escalating tense situations.
It’s not always easy to recognize the things in your life that directly (or indirectly) cause stress or discomfort; however, DBT treatment may help you realize that making a simple change in how you see yourself or approach difficult situations can have a dramatically positive effect on your mental health.
DBT helps you be more mindful
For many people receiving DBT treatment, it can be an enlightening and humbling experience, as DBT challenges you to keep an open mind about yourself and the people around you. You will learn that the world is connected and in constant balance. Over time, learning these things and approaching the world with an open mind can have a peaceful effect on you that will benefit virtually all aspects of your life.
DBT can empower you
It’s not uncommon for people suffering from depression to feel as if their lives are out of control or meaningless. However, when those people begin to see successes and breakthroughs in their lives thanks in part to their DBT treatment, it can be an incredibly empowering experience. Those breakthroughs often provide a sense of accomplishment and confidence people with depression haven’t felt in a long time. DBT shows you that, yes, you are in control and, yes, you can directly improve your situation if you dedicate yourself to it. For many, that is a powerful and life-changing realization.
Located in Scottsdale, Arizona, Pathways Counseling Services provides DBT treatment and other mental health services to help community members with depression live happy and fulfilling lives. If you or a loved one are looking to make significant improvements to your mental health, please don't hesitate to schedule an appointment. Please visit the link here or give us a call at (480) 235-1682 and we will be in touch.