Low Mood and Depression
Depression is a very common problem and many people feel low or down in the dumps at times. This is often due to life stresses such as bereavement, money or housing problems or difficulties in relationships. For some people the problem becomes much worse and gets in the way of normal life.
What is it?
When you’re depressed you may believe that you’re helpless and alone in the world; you often blame yourself for all the shortcomings that you think you have. At the bottom of all this you feel negative about yourself, about the world and about the future. So you tend to lose interest in what’s going on around you and you don’t get any satisfaction out of the things you used to enjoy. It can become hard to make decisions or to carry out little tasks that you once did with no problem at all.
In Summary, research now tells us that gloomy thoughts play an important role in depression. When someone is depressed there are usually changes in the way they feel – their emotions, how their body reacts, what they think and how they behave.
Courses that can help you
SilverCloud is an exciting online therapy programme proven to help with stress, anxiety, low-mood and depression. There are a range of programmes, including extra activities and ideas from mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy. The programme is flexible; use it anytime, anyplace, and anywhere. You can even access it on a computer, tablet or mobile phone. Click here to read more
Calming Anxiety and Boosting Mood (CABM)
The course is a psychological educational course run within a group setting. If you are aged 16 or older and registered with a Worcestershire GP, you can self-refer to attend a course. The CABM course is designed to help you understand and recognise low mood, anxiety and panic and help you learn skills and techniques to combat it. Click here to read more
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
This group programme that combines meditation and cognitive behaviour therapy in order to help people manage problems with recurrent depression and stress. Click here to read more
Connections Counselling group
This group consists of 10 weekly sessions. Each session lasts for two hours. This group will provide safe and supportive environment to explore experiences involving other people, and help you make positive changes in how you relate to people in your life. To achieve this, we will provide psycho-education and you will be invited to engage in various activities, such as creative work, reflections and discussion. Click here to read more
How can I help myself?
The way you think about things affects the way you feel, which affects the way you behave. It is difficult to change the way you feel, but you can change the way you think and the things you do. When you are feeling depressed you might have negative thoughts a lot of the time. With each negative thought the feelings of depression are likely to increase. Sometimes negative thoughts can stop you from doing the things that you would normally do. As a result, you may have critical thoughts about being lazy, or irresponsible, which make you feel even worse. In other words, you get caught up in a vicious cycle.
We have given examples of the negative thoughts people have when they are depressed. It is important to remember that you might still occasionally have some of these sorts of thoughts when you are not depressed. The difference is that you would generally dismiss them from your mind. When you are depressed, however, these thoughts are around all the time.
How can I help myself?
The ABC of changing feelings
Most people who are depressed think their lives are so awful that they have every right to feel sad. In fact our feelings come from what we think about and how we make sense of what has happened to us. Try to think about a recent event which had upset and depressed you. You should be able to sort out three parts of it:
- A. The event.
- B. Your thoughts about it.
- C. Your feelings about it.
Most people are normally only aware of A and C.
A useful technique to try is called balancing. When you have a negative, critical thought, balance it out by making a more accurate and positive statement to yourself. For example: The thought: “I’m no good at my job”, could be balanced with: “my boss said how much he appreciated the piece of work I did yesterday”.
The double column technique
Another thing you could do is write down your negative automatic thoughts in one column – and, opposite each one, write down a more balanced positive thought. Try and remember details.
Research tells us that the person who is depressed doesn’t remember details of events but tends to think in general statements, such as “I’ve never been any good at anything”. Try and train yourself to remember specific details so that good times and experiences are easy to recall. A daily diary can help you to do this. Make lists of actual achievements and good aspects of yourself such as “I’m always on time”, “I helped my friend on Tuesday” or “My partner complimented me on my work last week”. Listing past achievements and pleasurable activities in detail can also be helpful.
Long term beliefs
Sometimes people have long held views about themselves that are very self critical – for example, “I’m not a very clever person” or “I’m not a very lovable person”. These beliefs are often a product of our past experience and may hold no truth in present reality. Try to challenge this self criticism, stop knocking yourself down and look for evidence that disproves the beliefs. What would you say to a good friend if they held that belief about themselves?