Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

3 Ways DBT Training Can Help Relieve Depression

by Hugh Larson

DBT training, or dialectical behavior therapy training, focuses on accepting unhealthy and uncomfortable behaviors and thoughts rather than struggling against them. Once a target behavior is validated, changing it seems more possible. If you are depressed, DBT training can be effective in emphasizing two things that you may be lacking: tolerance and validation.

You may feel worthless which only creates an intense sadness, invalidating nearly every aspect of your life. Here are a few coping mechanisms offered by DBT training that can help you to address negative aspects in your life and gradually break free.

Identify Negative Thinking

Depression can put a negative spin on everything you experience, like the way you see yourself and your expectations. Feelings weak, powerless, and hopeless are cognitive distortions, and are not realistic. When these feelings and thoughts overwhelm you, this is the depression speaking. When these are part of a lifelong pattern of thinking, they feel automatic. You may not even be aware of them.

Here are a few examples of negative thinking to help you to identify when they occur.

  1. LabelingAre you labeling yourself based on mistakes? "I'm a loser and a failure."
  2. OvergeneralizationAre you generalizing from one negative experience and making in hold true forever? "I can't do anything right."
  3. All or NothingDo you view things only in black and white? "If I fall short of perfection, I must be a failure."
  4. Diminish the PositiveDo you come up with reasons why positive events don't count? "She said she had a good time, but she was just being polite."
  5. Jumping to ConclusionsAre you acting like a mind reader or fortune teller? "They probably think I'm stupid."

Challenge Those Thought Patterns

Once you become better at identifying negative though patterns, you can challenge them by asking yourself probing questions.

  • How would this situation look if I didn't have depression?
  • What would I tell my friend who had this thought?
  • What is the evidence that this thought is really true, or not true?
  • Is there another way of looking at this situation?

You may be surprised how quickly theses negative thoughts wilt under your own cross-examination. As you practice this form of questioning, you will develop a more balanced perspective.

Write it Down

Many DBT patients carry around small cards or a notepad for jotting down invalidating thoughts. This way, you can keep track of negative behaviors that affect you the most. Keep your notes with you at all times. If you are seeing a professional, show them your notes so you can receive helpful feedback.

Of course there are no miracle cures for depression, but DBT training is very useful for initiating therapy for many types of depression. Here are some other remedies you can try in conjunction with DBT training to increase its effectiveness.

  • Strive for at least 8 hours of sleep each day
  • Get out in the sunlight every day for at least 15 minutes to boost your mood.
  • To relieve symptoms of depression, try a daily relaxation technique such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga.
  • Omit foods that affect your mood and brain like alcohol, caffeine, trans fat, and meats with chemical preservatives. Don't skip meals, and look for food high in B vitamins since these deficiencies can trigger depression.
  • Reach out and stay connected with family and friends. Isolating yourself feels natural when you're depressed, but it only ends up compounding your guilt and shame if you neglect others.

DBT therapy training helps you identify your negative thinking and challenge those thought patterns that contribute to your depression. In time you can free yourself from destructive thoughts and behavior as you create newer, positive ways of thinking.


About Me

Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

I have worked in a supportive role in the medical industry for over 20 years, and I have been amazed at the advances in medicine that have been made. While it is always great to hear about a new medication that helps cure a disease or a new surgical procedure that can help someone live a normal life again after an injury, I have been especially amazed at the research that has shown just how much our physical and mental health are connected. Since I keep on top of all of the amazing medical studies being performed and I know others are too busy to hunt them down themselves, I decided to start a blog to share my favorite health tips for keeping both your mind and body healthy.