Why Do People Get Depressed?
Depression is a silent killer. 300 million people worldwide are depressed. Sounds bold right? But it’s true. Psychologists, therapists, doctors, psychiatrists have all known the effects of depression for a long time. CBT was primarily developed to treat depression in the most efficient way possible without the need to rely on medication alone.
How can CBT help?
CBT has always been about merging 4 aspects of human stimuli to fight depression. To keep it simple, the emphasis will only be about CBT techniques alone and not in addition to any other forms of therapies (which is a topic for another time).
Here are 5 ways to combat depression:
Activity, activity, activity. What that means is to re-engage in something you were doing before but have since stopped. You might say you can’t do it. Well take it in baby steps. Break down the process to the point where it’s manageable. Use a diary to track progress. This is necessary as depression can cause people to often forget things.
What is your routine like? What time are you normally waking up? If it’s very late in the morning or you sleep until the afternoon, chances are your eating habits are out of place too. So you need a food diary too. Note, if this doesn’t affect you then skip it. So your food diary will show exactly what your eating and how much. This has two further benefits: you know if your energy levels are affected by under-eating and it also motivates you to use your attention on meaningful activities than ruminating on the past, thus lowering depression.
Next, let’s explore your thoughts. What are you ruminating about? Was it a person, a place, a job, family or friends? Whatever it was, how did they make you feel? Whatever that emotion is, why do you think you react in that way? Sometimes our hurt is a reflection of ourselves or something that we lack. Other times it’s got nothing to do with us yet somehow we are affected by it. People with symptoms of depression tend to have a reduced attention field due to the pain and discomfort they are already in. It can be seen as positive thing in this sense because it allows you to see what stimuli you are really affected with. There’s no need to record anything (unless you wish to track your emotional cues).
If you can, write or say at least three things that made you happy, or that you achieved. Note: achievement is relative, but anything you thought was positive is perfectly fine i.e. got up early, ate a good breakfast, went for a walk. It can be anything, but the task is to just do it.
Lastly, the most difficult one: Depression can be caused by many things. So it’s treatment can be complex. I know what the blog title says, but the importance is on ways to reduce symptoms rather than stress over where it came from. Which is why treatment is done in conjunction with mental and medical health professionals. Remember, this is not a journey where you show you are a lone wolf. It is a disorder that can have lasting effects therefore support is important in getting better.
These tips have been written for people with mild to moderate signs of depression and is in no way a replacement for a health professional’s advice. So that wraps it up for this article. I hope this helps people.
Note: These are merely guidelines. Everyone will respond differently. For specific and expert assessment, diagnosis and treatment, book an appointment with me to learn more about your symptoms and we can defeat this once and for all!