Recognize Depression’s Bluffs and Play a Winning Hand
Dec 03, 2020
too often the illogical nature of depression prevents sufferers from
finding relief of their symptoms. Many individuals believe that they are
doing what is needed
to get better but end up feeling worse. The reason? Depression
bluffs its afflicted with empty promises, leaving them even more stuck.
Here are a couple examples of how the disorder can trick people into folding to its will along with the corresponding potential unwanted outcome:
- Depression Bluff: "You don't feel well enough to see your family even though you declined their company
on several consecutive occasions. You just need some more me-time and maybe you will feel better."
- Unwanted Outcome: More social isolation and apathy
- Depression Bluff: "You might be happier with more sleep; skip your spin class you were looking forward to this morning."
- Unwanted Outcome: Loss of interest in meaningful activities and guilt
good news is that the depressed, and not the depression, hold the
winning hand in wellness. Often it is the opposite of what the condition
encourages an individual
to do (or not do) that will end up helping in the long-run. Fortunately,
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) can teach sufferers how to recognize
when this is the case in order to break from depression's tyrannous
Below are some CBT strategies that can be used to call depression's bluff:
- Successive Approximation: This term simply means chunking large goals into smaller, more achievable steps. Since depression leaves individuals feeling overwhelmed, this is a way to be more confident in goal-setting.
- Behavioral Experiments: Many suffering from depression may hold beliefs that may not be completely true. Behavioral experiments can help people test the validity of these thoughts. The spin class "depression bluff" above would be a candidate for a behavioral experiment. Maybe this individual will actually be happier after a workout versus oversleeping. It is worth a try!
- Pleasant Activity Scheduling: By rewarding progress with activities that one (used to) enjoy and holding time to participate in them, the afflicted individual may see their apathy dissipate and confidence increase.
Depression will always try to bluff and negotiate you out of these tactics; however, it is you holding the winning hand. Now it is your turn to play it. Please contact us to learn more!