The Influence of Thoughts in Depression


The Influence of Thoughts in Depression
By: Andres Carvajal
Edited By: Stephanie Dawson

The way we think can help make us sick or healthy. This is the fundamental idea of the cognitive models of depression. Fortunately the solutions lies there, its proven that the way we think can modify our mental and physical health.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapies(CBT)

Cognitive makes reference to our thoughts, behavior, and actions. According to this psychological perspective depression deals principally with our feelings. They propose that if someone is feeling negative they will think negative thoughts which can lead to performing activities with little effort and little or no contact with people.

Cognitive Content:

Things we say to ourselves have an effect on our bodies, behavior, and mood. If, for example, a person is depressed because he recently had a romantic breakup its likely to have negative thoughts such as: “I’m a failure, I’ll be alone forever” “I’ll never be in love again.” These thoughts have common characteristic: they are dramatic, pessimistic, inflexible, and irrational. The main goal of therapy is to show a person can recognize on their own irrational thoughts. These thoughts are often automatic, the person isn’t aware that these thoughts are negative, irrational, and inflexible, so the first thing is to recognize these thoughts, and then to challenge and modify them. Treatment can last for 3 – 4 months, with an approach geared to daily problems and solving them.

The influence of Thoughts in depression

The purpose of treatment is:

1. Diminish the intensity of depressed feelings,
2. Shorten the duration of depression
3. Learn new patterns to prevent relapse.
4. To feel more in control.

Cognitive therapists have divided these thoughts into categories

• Black and white filter- Analyzing things as only good or bad. A person that is depressed might think, “I failed today so I am a failure,” there are no gray areas or balance in this perspective.

• Viewing the negative side- Underestimation of the good or neutral perspective of life.

• Over assuming- Assuming that if someone doesn’t act the way you want or the way they used to its because of something you did or said.

• Taking things too seriously- With depression some people take things too seriously or personally, thinking that everything and everybody is permanent and will not change.

• Using ‘must’ too often- Depressed people are not the best judges of themselves, and they can be hypercritical. They often set rigid rules, “I must be like others” “I must have what they have.”

• Classifying themselves- Depressed people may label someone or themselves with negative labels.

Sources:

Aaron Beck The Diagnosis and Management of Depression (1967)
Aaron Beck Depression: Causes and Treatment (1972)

 
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