What is depression?

Depression can happen to anyone, and happens to one in four people over their lifetime.  There are some factors which increase the likelihood of depression, including genetics, upbringing, or life events.  It is the way we deal with managing this feeling that keeps it going, and the way we think and react in the situation affects how we feel.

What are the causes of depression?

Depression

Cognitive and behavioural therapy (CBT) helps us to understand our issues by breaking them into five smaller parts – Situation, Thoughts, Emotions, Physical Sensations and Behaviour. These five parts are normally interconnected and maintain the problem.

Using this CBT model, we can explain some of the common signs of depression:

How can we help?

The symptoms of depression can create changes in a person’s daily functioning, routine and behaviour.  These changes can maintain the feeling of depressing and prevent feeling better.  Looking at the above example, the physical sensations of lethargy and tiredness can result in the person reducing their activities, and therefore feeding the negative thought of being hopeless.  The less a person engages in, the more hopeless they feel, and keeping the vicious cycle of depression going.

The only way to break the cycle of depression is to increase activities, ensuring that they are gradual, realistic and achievable.  The activities should be a balance of essential and more importantly pleasurable, which helps in feeling better, reduce the feeling of tiredness, and think more clearly.

It is important to keep on persisting with the activities to keep the energy and motivation levels up, and when you are feeling better, the next step is to challenge the unhelpful thoughts.  This will assist in breaking the cycle of depression.

Mindset Rethink can help you to:

  • Identify and set specific and manageable goals
  • Offer you education on depression
  • Explain the CBT model to you and how it can help you with breaking the cycle for depression
  • Evaluate and challenge your negative thoughts
  • Plan activities so that you are doing more
  • Teach you problem solving and worry management techniques
  • Develop your social skills
  • Promote your general healthy lifestyle

Complementary therapy techniques

One of the key features of depression is doing fewer things than before, for the reason of feeling tired, having difficulty sleeping and eating, and negative thinking styles.  Stopping doing things could lead to feeling bad, which can have an impact on work and social life, for example doing less, isolating self, withdrawn from others.

By increasing our activity and exercise levels it can have a significant impact on our mood which in turn can make us feel better about ourselves.

Set yourself an activity in the week which offers you enjoyment, a sense of achievement or makes you feel closer to others.  It can be something that you previously did or something new.  After completing the activity, reflect on how it impacts on your mood, thoughts and energy levels.

You may want to expand on this activity and plan more things to do in the week – the key is to keep planning and doing things until you notice an improvement.

 

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