With millions of people suffering with depression worldwide, it’s not surprising to learn that in Canada, depression is among the most common mental health struggles. The cause of depression is often simplified as a chemical imbalance in the brain, but the reality is that it’s far more complicated than that. Scientific research has yet to fully understand the biology of depression.
What Causes Depression?
We do know that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. This combination of factors gives you the predisposition to fall into a depression after having experienced a negative external event. For example, getting fired from a job might send one person into a depression, while another person bounces back more quickly after experiencing the initial shock, sadness, and disappointment.
Many experts in the cognitive behavioral field believe that depression is sometimes caused – and often worsened – by negative thinking. In other words, the emotions you experience during an episode of depression are created, at least in part, by negative thoughts and perceptions. Your feelings can result from the meaning you attach to those thoughts. If you reduce negative thoughts, you will find it easier to cope with the negative event that triggered the depression.
Why Did I Feel Fine Yesterday?
If you felt fine yesterday, but today feel depressed and hopeless, your thoughts about how you feel may be a factor. As an example, let’s say you woke up late and had to rush to work. This put you in a bad mood, and you started thinking negative thoughts about yourself, such as: “I’m always late. I’m a loser. My boss is going to be angry at me all day. They probably hate me anyway. I’m going to get fired.” As the day goes on, every event will be processed through this negative filter, causing you to feel worse.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that helps you redirect negative patterns of thought. By redirecting those thoughts, you can improve your mood. For example, “I’m always late.” This is most likely an over-generalization. More than likely, you have not been late that often. However, if “being late” is something you want to change, it may be as simple as altering your schedule and habits to become more punctual – sometimes easier said than done, I know. However, your thoughts are an important part of making such changes. Thinking “I can” will be much more helpful than dwelling on the negative thought of “I’m always late.”
Treatment Options for Depression
Depression is a complicated struggle, and as such is best managed by comprehensive treatment, which often includes a combination of medication and talk-therapy.
If you’re suffering from depression, a licensed therapist can help you understand your moods and thoughts, and develop strategies to cope with and improve your symptoms.
Let’s connect. I’m confident that, together, we can develop a plan for you to create the life you want and deserve. Give me a call today, and let’s schedule a time to talk. See contact info here.