Depression tells lies! Don’t believe these thinking mistakes.

Depression tells lies! Don’t believe these thinking mistakes.

Although this blog mostly (and obviously) focuses on happiness we're well aware and it's important to note (repeatedly) that no one is happy all the time. 

Although there's nothing wrong with trying to maximise happiness, it's important to be realistic and face up to the fact that we all have bad days. 

For some of us, very bad days. 

Depression is the most common form of mental illness but the good news is that we can manage and fight and overcome it by understanding that our thoughts when depressed need not be believed. Based on the very powerful principles of cognitive-behaviour therapy this great article from PsychCentral is a must read…

by Margarita Tartakovsky 

Depression is a master manipulator. It spins negative stories and makes you think these tall tales are cold, hard facts.

But they’re really cognitive distortions.

“[N]ot only does the illness make our thoughts more negative, but it tends to make us see negative events as internal, stable and global,” said Lee H. Coleman, Ph.D., ABPP, a clinical psychologist and assistant director and director of training at the California Institute of Technology’s student counseling center.

This includes everything from believing something is wrong with you when your friend cancels dinner to assuming bad things always happen to you to being convinced you’ll never feel better ever again.

According to psychologist Deborah Serani, PsyD, depression’s top three distortions revolve around helplessness, hopelessness and poor problem solving. Depression diminishes functioning in the frontal lobe of the brain, home to goal-directed behavior, problem solving and reasoning, she said.

Coleman often tells his patients that even though depression is classified as a mood disorder, the cognitive effects may be even more debilitating.

Cognitive distortions can lead to self-destructive behavior and dangerous situations, such as not reaching out to others for support, not eating, skipping medication, drinking excessively, driving too fast and self-harming, said Serani, also author of the books Living with Depression and Depression and Your Child.

One of her patients revealed that her son was so depressed that he climbed a tower’s electrical wires to see if he could touch the top one. This could’ve killed him. Thankfully, the police were able to stop him.

“After he received treatment for his depression, he told his mother that he can’t explain why he did that because he’d never in a million years do that now that he’s feeling better.”

Common Cognitive Distortions

“It’s all my fault I have depression.” Coleman regularly reminds his clients that no one asks to be depressed; “nobody can inflict themselves with depression. It’s a complex illness with roots in our biology, our family backgrounds, and so many other factors that are completely out of our control.”

He believes that instead of focusing on how you got there, it’s more useful to focus on what may be maintaining your depression right now, such as social isolation or unmet needs, he said. Paying attention to your needs for social contact, meaningful work, leisure time and other needs helps you figure out where you can take action. “Is there something you need that you haven’t spoken up about?”

…keep reading the full & original article HERE