The Influence Of Our Thoughts In Depression
The way we think, can make us sick or keep us healthy. This is the fundamental idea of the cognitive models of depression. Fortunately the solutions lies there, it has been proven that the way we think can modify our mental and physical health. In this article we are going to explain about how our thoughts affects our emotions and mood and that how they can lead to many disorders, specifically depression.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapies(CBT)
Cognitive Content: makes reference to our thoughts or beliefs. Its the way we think about ourselves, and how it effects our body, our behavior and our mood. If for example a person is depressed because he recently had a romantic breakup, it is very common that some people might say to themselves: “I’m a failure, I’ll be alone forever” “I’ll never be in love again” “everybody hates me”. These thoughts share common characteristics: they are dramatic, pessimistic, inflexible, irrational(since there is no way to prove that everybody hates me) automatic(generally the person is not aware) and they over generalize and assume that everything is negative. its going to be like that forever. The main task of therapy is that the patient can recognize by themselves and recognize them in their daily activities. These thoughts are often automatical, the person isn’t aware that these thoughts and that they are so negative, irrational and inflexible, so the first thing is to recognize these thoughts, and then to challenge them and to modify them.
Treatment can last even for 3 or 4 months, with the focus on the daily problems and how to solve them. The purpose of treatment is: 1. Diminish the intensity of depression feelings, 2. To shorten the time of depression 3. To learn new ways to prevent relapse. 4. To feel more in control of our lives.
Cognitive therapists have divided these thoughts into some categories, for example
black and white filter. Is when you analyze something and you think that it is either good or bad. A person that is depressed might think, “since I fail today doing this, im a failure” There is no grey, or balance in this perspective.
To view the negative side. You only look the negative side of everything, you underestimate the good or neutral perspective of life
Over assuming. You always assume that if someone doesn’t act the way you want or the way they use to behave, you think that is because of something you did or said. Is like if you were reading the mind of others and you anticipate their bad reaction, however, sometimes you don’t have a single prove of how is the reaction of others, but this person just assume the worst of everything.
Taking things too seriously: In depression sometimes people tend to take everything too serious, too personally, thinking that everything and everybody is permanent and will not change. If someone doesn’t salute you on the street, you might think “this person completely hates me”. This person can keep thinking this about everybody who doesn’t recognize them and looking for other “hints” to confirm his irrational thought.
Never us “MUST” a lot. If you have depression or you had experience it before you know that you are the best judge for yourself. They set sometimes very rigid rules for example: “I must be like others” “I must have what they have” “I must have done it”.
Classifying themselves. Depressed people can easily label someone or themselves with very negative labels such as “looser” “nerd”, “failure” “stupid” and so, and they tend to interact with other in terms of these stereotypes and labels
Aaron Beck The Diagnosis and Management of Depression (1967)
Aaron Beck Depression: Causes and Treatment (1972)