Depression can be characterised by feeling a constant low mood and lack of interest in daily life. It negatively effects the way you think, feel and behave - such as thinking 'what's the point of getting out of bed', feeling sad, and not doing anything all day. We all feel down from time to time, but it's not the same as experiencing depression, which is something that is more intense, lasts longer than just a bad day, and has an impact on our functioning.
Depression can effect anyone and can look different for different people. Often people with depression begin to withdraw socially and stop doing activities they used to enjoy for doing, but for some people things may still look the same on the outside as they continue to function as usual.
Feeling bad about yourself, or that you're a failure or have let yourself or your family down, and often feeling guilty for no reason.
Experiencing a poor appetite or overeating, loss of libido, trouble concentrating, foggy thinking, tearfulness, and aches and pains.
Having trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much, and constantly feeling tired or having little energy even if you haven't done very much.
Feeling down, depressed or hopeless, like life is no longer fulfilling, and sometimes also having symptoms of anxiety and irritability too.
Experiencing little interest or pleasure in doing things, and often withdrawing from previous activities that you used to enjoy doing.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Depression begins with understanding how your depression developed, how it presents itself, and what maintains it.
We then work on modifying your activity levels and challenging negative thinking using a variety of CBT tools and techniques (and I can include Mindfulness and Compassion Focused Therapy techniques too if useful).
And lastly we focus on adjusting any unhelpful rules and negative core beliefs that may be part of the problem, and create a relapse prevention plan to prevent future episodes of depression occurring,
Create a relapse prevention plan outlining what to do if you feel depressed again in the future
Learn how to identify your triggers and break the cycle of rumination
Reduce low mood and start gaining more energy and being able to focus again
Shift into a more positive mindset where your thinking patterns are more balanced
Stop self-criticism and start being kind and compassionate towards yourself
Find enjoyment in activities and start looking forward to things again