Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Depression Workbook

I recently checked out "Overcoming Depression One Step at a Time" from the library. I'm pretty terrible about doing workbooks, especially since I can't write in library copies, but even so, I could see that it was a great book, and I got some good tips from it.

The authors advocate an approach they call "behavioral activation." They differentiate it from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but I believe it's just another subset, just as Exposure and Response Prevention is a subset of CBT. Ultimately just semantics anyway. The approach basically lets your actions inform your thoughts.

They fully acknowledge that "just doing it" while depressed is no easy task. Instead they start by having you track times of day or activities leading to the most depressed state. So you might start by making changes there. They also teach you to make goals and then break them into really small pieces if needed, to just get started and start a positive reinforcement cycle.

It still will take some level of motivation, but overall, I really liked it. One thing they talked about that's also extremely relevant to anxiety is keeping yourself from rumination, via mindfulness. I put this to use the other day on a run. I was ruminating about, what else, garbage cans, when instead I made myself focus on what was around me. I noticed lots of interesting things about the houses and wildlife I passed by, and the run was made much more pleasant. I love coincidences, so I was pleased when I ran by a church reader board that said "Occupy Mindfulness."

Anyway, I do not think I'm doing this book justice, but I do recommend it.

P.S. Today was garbage day- all the garbage is gone. For now. I will attempt to handle this much more calmly should it happen again.


  1. Sounds like a good book. I am trying to be more mindful too. I just read something that said when we let our minds wander, the thoughts tend to be negative. So hard to stay in the moment! Thank you for sharing.

  2. You love coincidences? Wow - as someone with OCD I am shocked to hear that. Thanks for the book recommendation - right now I am in the midst of PMS and the dark dingy depressive state of winter - rain, rain, rain and no sun and short days. Can you tell I'm feeling crappy??????

  3. I know, coincidences should probably freak me out, but my love for them started before my OCD did, so I guess it wins.

  4. And man, if BC's had the rain we had this week... it sure isn't helping anyone's mood, is it?