PSYCHO – Getting away from negative thoughts, getting back into action and promoting positive emotions are all tips that can help you stop mulling over.
Depression is a disease and should be treated as such, with the support of a doctor. But beyond the medical management, several approaches help to fight against the black ideas. Psychotherapy is the first of them. It is based on listening to the patient, the benevolence and lack of judgment of the therapist. “There are different types of care depending on the habits of the patient and the level of severity of depression: a reformulation of problems, interpretation of behavior, individual exercises to build self-esteem, etc.
The therapist will especially teach the patient to “think positive”. “It is also more accurate to speak of” positive psychology “because it is a global attitude,” explains Antoine Pelissolo. It is based on several ingredients: encourage and make the most of positive emotions (joys, interests, pleasures, etc.), try to identify and distance oneself from one’s negative thoughts and get back into action, remembering memories positive, distinguishing between thoughts and real facts to relativize dark ideas and, finally, learn to accept a situation to move on and avoid the ruminations of negative ideas. Mindfulness meditation, when properly followed, also brings a benefit against depression “especially to prevent relapses,” says Pelissolo.
Learn to perceive situations differently
Another approach, which has been the subject of several clinical studies validating its effectiveness in depression: cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT, performed by a psychologist or other health professional trained in this technique. It is a brief therapy of about fifteen sessions. The patient plays an active role. The goal is to analyze the situations or symptoms that accompany depression and to work on it with the therapist to learn to perceive them differently and to apprehend the situation differently. This allows you to gradually free yourself from the embrace of depression and rumination.
Another approach is derived from CBT but little developed in France: it is the interpersonal therapy or TIP. This time, the work is more focused on social situations strongly correlated to depression: conflicts with his entourage, the death of a loved one, loneliness or a break, unemployment. The therapist helps the patient not only to understand how depressive symptoms related to these events but also to find ways to resolve these relationship difficulties.
There are also psychodynamic therapies, derived from psychoanalysis and based on conflict resolution. They are part of the long term. For each individual, the experiences of childhood are rooted in the unconscious and generate inner conflicts in the course of life. Psychoanalysis allows the patient to identify these conflicts and to solve them.
While the term may scare, it is one of the most promising therapies against depression: transcranial magnetic stimulation is practiced in many hospitals in France. It involves applying a magnetic field to the surface of the skull to modify the activity of specific areas of the brain. The mechanisms of action are still poorly identified but the results are there.
All these approaches can not be recommended without a better lifestyle. “Sports practice, regular and adequate sleep and a balanced diet contribute to healing and the prevention of relapses,” recalls Antoine Pelissolo.