Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I choose to do life...I want to do life.

Depression sucks the "life" right out of life. Profound statement, huh? My depression hasn't gotten a whole lot better. However, I'm working through it in a systematic way that I never have before. I had no idea there was Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for depression. It makes sense.....I just didn't know it existed. I will definitely give credit to my Mom who, when I'm in a "funk", has always encouraged me to "at least take a shower and do my hair and make up." In a lot of ways, CBT for depression is exactly that, just broken down into much smaller steps. My BT sat down with me sometime last week and explained how CBT works for depression and how we were going to incorporate it into my treatment here. My depression and OCD are definitely intertwined in a lot of respects. Although I can't always predict when I'm going to get depressed, I'm not all that surprised that I am now. Given the fact that I've chipped away at a lot of my "outside" layers of OCD and have hit on some pretty sensitive topics in my individual therapy sessions, depression is understandable to some degree. However, as many, many people can probably relate, depression affects my motivation, inner and physical strength, sleep patterns, productivity, positivity, thought processes, and my overall outlook on life and my desire to live it. It seems my mantra the last couple weeks has been, "I just don't want to do life anymore. .....As I wrote that....I kinda had a therapeutic realization..... Seeing what I just described as my recent and familiar mantra makes me realize that a "simple" counter-reply of "I choose to do life.....I want to do life" could probably go a long way in changing the way I feel. Hmmm..... I didn't intend to go off on this tangent, and on paper I'm sure it seems overly simplistic and obvious, but coming from a depressed point of view, it's as though I've had a profound enlightenment. :)

Anyway....back to CBT. As my BT and I talked about my depression, he began to make two lists. A task-related activity list and an enjoyment-related activity list. With each item that we added to the lists, I had to rate it according to how challenging it is for me to complete when I'm depressed. Based on that information, my BT typed up a formal list putting everything in a progressive order starting with the least difficult. I've been assigned four items from both the task and enjoyment lists, and the goal is to do at least three from each list every day regardless of how I feel.

To be continued...... it's late and I need to go to bed. :)

1 comment:

  1. Hey Kristen, You and your BT are exactly right about depression. It is a dark hole, but you can work out of it and things can get better. I have been in Wisconsin(right down the street) the last week fighting for my free spirit here in a hotel and ultimately was denied a total of 4 times so far. The letter from insurance stated that I had not improved in my time there and that there was little chance that I would improve. Talk about depressing. I am heading home tomorrow. My e-mail is majikpie@yahoo.com. E-mail me please so I can get in on the pool next week for the bachelor. Good Luck to you! Mike