Depression Solutions

Psychotherapy can help to alleviate depression. It can be used in conjunction with medication such as antidepressants. Sometimes people use medication to help coping through a particularly overwhelming situation; loss of job, divorce, death of a loved one. Other individuals use them more on an ongoing basis either regularly or intermittently.

Activities such as exercise, yoga, and improved diet can relieve physical stress on the body. When the body is in better balance and getting what it needs the emotional demands can be less overwhelming. A lack of focus on what one needs and the subsequent self neglect is often an ingredient in depression. Initiating the process of nurturing oneself physically can be a good first step in valuing oneself again. Itís simple, concrete, and often easier than grappling with emotional self care which can then be better tackled. In fact just taking action can be empowering as it helps to offset the feelings of helplessness.

Challenging ones negative or distorted thinking is another way to improve depression. Some of the ways of thinking include:

Filtering -

Focusing on the negative aspects and ignoring the positive as well as exaggerating the negative. Going on vacation and only noting how the plane left late, it rained 2 days, and how you got lost and missed an event. Not recalling and enjoying the part about seeing wonderful scenery, meeting friendly entertaining people.

Catastrophizing and Magnification -

The person expects the worst possible outcome or exaggerates the importance of problems. Something minor is experienced as major. Thoughts about going to the party tonight are filled with anticipation of having a horrible time, not liking the people, feeling left out, getting embarrassed and not wanting to face those people again. Perhaps anticipating having a wonderful time is not so realistic but admitting that you will not know how you feel being there unless you actually go and experience it would be more realistic. You can either decide to stay or leave at that point.

Mind Reading -

You assume you know what another person is thinking and feeling about you as well as reading into their motivations. Your boss asks you to move to another team working on another project. You assume he thinks you messed up the last assignment so he is assigning you to less important tasks. You could ask him his reasoning as well as entertain other possible reasons; the other team is running out of time to get something done and needs assistance, you have skills that the boss feels would be an asset on another project etc.

Emotional Reasoning -

Believing what you feel is the way things are. I feel stupid, ugly; therefore I am stupid, ugly. Our perceptions are affected by a number of aspects and donít always reflect reality.

Shoulds/Should Nots -

You have an idea of strict rules everyone in the universe should/must live by. You become enraged when other people donít go by these rules and feel guilt/shame when you break them. Chances are there is a fair enough alternative.

Journaling about the situations and your thoughts and what might be more realistic thoughts is good practice to eventually thinking more realistically in the moment and therefore increasing the possibility for positive outcomes in the future.

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© Patricia McKee M.A.


Patricia McKee M.A.

University Village Area, Seattle, WA