Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression

Last December I got into a negative-thoughts spiral that felt like I was getting depressed.  During the entire month my mood changed and my thoughts changed, too.  More and more my self-talk was negative and hopeless, then I caught the worst flu I've ever had a few days before Christmas.

Let me tell you, there were days when I would wake up and not want to get up because I had no reason to believe that day would be any better than the last.  I'm amazed how negative thoughts can creep into your life without being noticed until you feel terrible.  Fortunately, I had been talking with a couple of friends about their depression that eventually sent them to their doctors.  They had both been prescribed anti-depressants, one relatively short-term (6 months) and one who had been taking them for years.

I decided to try some homestyle Cognitive Behavioral Therapy before anything else, mostly because my body hates medications and my insurance was crap.  I love to take and process photos and had been missing it for awhile.  We had been shopping for a video camera and I was antsy to get started learning to make videos so I spent my flu downtime learning.  The plan was to take a photo every day of something that made me happy, inspired, grateful, thoughtful, whatever, as long as it was positive.  Then I posted the pictures to an album, with a description

http://plus.google.com/photos/101326359135790262301/albums/5964104371704759905

Each day I woke up with more enthusiasm and looked at my world a little differently.  Apparently, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is quite effective for depression, whether antidepressants are prescribed or not.  So, even if you take drugs, you have to do the work yourself.   http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/cognitive-behavioral-therapy-for-depression  At the end of January I made a video of the things that made me happy.



With a little effort, the habit has stuck and, much like the flu has healed stubbornly and slowly, I've dug my way out of the dark place.  Here's hoping I never go there again.