End Depression – Pit One Neural Pattern Against the Other

I’m a board-certified cognitive behavioral therapist who went into the field to help myself after I was diagnosed with manic depression-they call it bipolar now. I still prefer the old term as being more descriptive and honest. I find the term bipolar fails to pinpoint anything that might give a clue as to what might actually be ailing somebody.

I was unwilling to take any medication for the pain of my depression and was determined to find another cure for it, if it was at all possible. rodzaje depresji

In graduate school I found little in psychology or psychiatry to help myself out of my bipolar situation. Not until I studied neuroscience did I find the secret of how to get out of depression. The secret is to pit one neural pattern against the other. Let me explain.

One neural pattern is the neural pattern of depression that you build in your brain. I say build, because, every time you think a depressive thought you make that neural pattern stronger and stronger.

Of course this is true for any thought. Any thought you think becomes forever imprinted in your memory bank. Thoughts that you repetitively think over and over become stronger and stronger neural patterns. In a way, thinking is similar to exercising. You exercise a muscle over and over again to make it stronger. You think a thought over and over again to make it dominant. And the brain always follows the direction of its most current dominant thought.

This is the big problem with a strong depressive neural pattern. When it triggers off, we’re thrown into painful depression and we can’t pull ourselves away from thinking our pain, over and over, which makes the thought more and more dominant and the brain keeps following our depressive thought right into a depressive episode.

This is because depression only happens in part of our brain, the emotional part. When we concentrate on our depression, all our neural activity sparks up in the subcortex. We have not enough neural activity in our thinking brain (our neocortex) to lift us out of our emotional despair. We can’t think straight in a cognitive way. We can only suffer our emotional pain.

Now, sooner or later, since depression is cyclical, some small learned associations spark up small thoughts which stimulate the build-up of neural activity in the neocortex, and slowly we come out of our depression as the brain follows these developing cognitive thoughts, and neural activity sparks back up in the neocortex. Our cognitive faculties re-awaken and we start to gather our wits and re-engage with our life again. Until the next depressive episode and the cycle repeats itself.

But we can do better than just wait for learned association to slowly get us out of depression. We can force feed those incipient cognitive thoughts into a stronger neural pattern-a pattern that is strong enough to pit against our depressive neural pattern and defeat it.

Did you know that you could do that? Did you realize that you could actually choose to think a non-depressive thought even when depression is raging? And that you could make that thought strong enough to defeat the depressive thought?

Who says so? Neuroscience says so. Neuroscience tells us what our psychiatrist cannot tell us. If we think another thought that is not depressive, and think it over and over again, repetitively, the brain will start to follow the cognitive thought, and turn away from following the emotional depressive thought.

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