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Have Anxiety and Depression? Forget CBT and Try DBT

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be great for anxiety and it can be great for depression. What happens if you have both anxiety and depression? Despite its popularity and evidence of effectiveness, CBT may not be the best solution. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is ideal for mixed anxiety and depression. While DBT is also great for either condition, the DBT exercises can treat both conditions at once. DBT acknowledges that conflict is part of life. The most common conflict with someone who has anxiety and depression is activity versus passivity. Anxiety encourages passivity to avoid fear. Passivity can lead to hopelessness associated with depression. Avoiding potential anxiety-provoking situations can lead to less anxiety in the long run but also condition the brain to react more strongly when those situations do occur. Anxiety can cause depression, and depression can cause anxiety in this example and many others. Treating the two conditions at the same time just makes sense. Two conditions that can be well treated by CBT and DBT is chronic illness and chronic pain.

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