If you are reading this section it may be that you or someone you know is suffering from depression
The PHQ-9 questionnaire
will help you judge whether you are experiencing a bout of depression
HOW CAN CBT HELP YOU OVERCOME DEPRESSION
- Education – treatment will always start with establishing what you know about it and then filling in the blanks by helping you understand your problems and the nature of depression. The more you understand your problems the less they will disturb you.
- Look at what fuels your depression- we examine each of the following areas to see how these are impacting on your depression
- Rumination – getting hooked into a repetitive cyclical process of negative thinking regarding problems from the past
- Negative thinking – tend to be thoughts based on beliefs about yourself being useless or worthless. Can also be about the world being an undesirable and unsafe place to live.
- Inactivity – address your tendency to not participate in activities you used to enjoy, not engaging in day to day tasks and possibly staying in bed because you can’t face another day.
- Social withdrawal- avoiding seeing other people and attending family/social functions, not returning phone calls and tending to stay increasingly more in your home.
- Procrastination- avoiding tasks such as paying bills, making phone calls
- Shame- feeling ashamed about your depression and fearing that others will judge you harshly because of how little you are now able to do or enjoy.
- Guilt – feeling guilty about your depression and how much you perceive that this inconveniences family and friends.
- Hopelessness – thinking that you will never get better
- Treatment is then based on agreeing a plan to address each of the above areas e.g. in rumination the client and I will agree a plan to break the cycle of rumination or setting goals to tackle procrastination
- Activity scheduling- here you keep a diary about what you are thinking and doing. This can give you valuable information about the pattern of your depression and what can trigger low mood. This information is then used devise a plan to gradually increase activity and re-engage with other people. This plan will include using exercise, such as going for a walk, to improve your mood. Regular exercise provides your brain with a boost of serotonin which is a mood regulator our brains produce.
- Tackling negative thoughts and beliefs- again you will be asked to keep a record of your negative thoughts and beliefs. Negative thoughts are very severe in depression and are often activated by long-held beliefs so we will examine them in session. This will involve challenging them and looking at evidence for and against them being true/factual.
- Depending on what we have identified as trigger factors for depression then the treatment will also include planned reading and specific interventions (such as homework, role play, problem solving, experiments) for any of the following: poor sleep (see insomnia), low self esteem (see low self esteem), managing suicidal thoughts, anxiety (see Anxiety), chronic pain (see chronic pain), guilt, shame, communication and assertiveness.