With the power of thoughts and through cognitive therapy for depression
One of the best methods is cognitive therapy. I would like to demonstrate how it can help you with a small example. Suppose you come to my practice and ask me: “Mr. Merkle, can I use cognitive therapy to make myself really depressed? I'm doing very well at the moment. I'm in good spirits and fine, but I want to get over it and feel depressed. Can you help me with that? ”First I would make it clear to you that it is not easy. It takes hard work to go from one extreme of feeling good to the other extreme of feeling depressed. But it's possible. If you are really serious about being depressed, then you could achieve this.
You would most likely be skeptical as to whether cognitive therapy can really help you achieve your goal. For example, you might argue that you are not convinced that it is possible to become depressed because you are doing too well right now. I would then explain to you that your belief that you can't do it is just your opinion. To find out if you're right about it, you'd have to try it out first. So I would encourage you to work on it for a while to see if you are actually unable to get depressed. This is the only way you can tell if cognitive therapy is actually working.
3 steps to the goal: Become depressed thanks to negative thoughts
Then I would show you how to make yourself depressed. I would recommend that you be very pessimistic about yourself every time you feel good. I would urge you to think only about your bad points and your mistakes. I would encourage you to only see the negatives of everything. To be on the safe side, I would advise that you only compare yourself to people who have achieved more than you and that you should judge and devalue yourself for doing so. At first it would seem very artificial, since you are not convinced that everything is so negative. You would have the impression that this cannot work.
However, if you thought, "Well, I can give it a try, I have nothing to lose" and you tried it for, say, a month, the chances are you would get really depressed. The more important it is to you that you achieve your goal of being depressed, the better you will do this. It is the same if you want to learn to overcome your depression:
- It must be important to you to achieve this goal.
- Despite your skepticism as to whether you will be able to do it, you must work on it and the methods that I have given you imagine will use.
- You have to be patient. You can't expect to reach your goal in a few days.
How you can help yourself
A depressive mood is a state of more or less great sadness. However, this is not the only feeling you experience when you are depressed. Depression does not consist of just one feeling, as many people think. Rather, it is a mixture of different feelings. So there is almost always anger and feelings of inferiority. Often times, feelings of guilt also play a large role in the development and maintenance of depressive moods, and finally, fear and worry can make life even more difficult for depressed people. If you want to overcome your depression then you need to learn how to get rid of these negative feelings in your life. It is most helpful to see each of these negative feelings as a separate problem to be solved.
In order to do that, you first need to know where your feelings are coming from. You need to understand how they arise and how you can influence them. Then you can use this knowledge to get a better grip on your uncomfortable feelings. The more you learn to influence your negative feelings and to change them to your satisfaction, the faster your depressive moods will disappear.
Is it even possible to help yourself?
Can you even help yourself? My answer to that is: yes, it is possible. All people help themselves by always doing what they think is right and appropriate. Out of ignorance, however, people often choose ways and means that do them more harm than good. They abuse alcohol, medication or drugs to improve their mental well-being, or even kill themselves because they see no other way out of their problems. "Conquering Depression" shows you how you can solve your mental problems yourself in a safe way with the help of cognitive therapy. You can use this program in conjunction with therapy or work with it alone. If you are already in therapy, your therapist may have recommended this book to you. He knows that you will make faster progress if you study books of this type in addition to talking to him. It does not matter whether you solve your problems alone or with the help of a therapist, in any case you have to do something about it. You are the only one who can overcome your depression. All this program or a therapist can do is give you guidance.
Can you always solve your problems with cognitive technology alone? It would be presumptuous if I were to claim that reading and working through a short text is enough in all cases to deal with one's problems. In order to be able to help yourself, you need more. It takes time and personal commitment. For some people, it is easier to do this with the help of a therapist. In the case of very severe and long-lasting depression, the help and support of an experienced therapist is certainly required.
If nothing helps: let us help you!
There are a few therapists whom you can turn to with confidence. These therapists use the same therapy method as me. This is of great benefit to you. If you have worked through this book and then have the feeling that you need the help and support of a specialist, then you already know from the therapists I have listed what they place special value in therapy. You will then progress faster in therapy because you already have a lot of previous knowledge. If these therapists cannot give you a therapy place because they are fully occupied, then they can certainly name another therapist in your area. Or you write to me and I'll try to name another therapist. You are also welcome to write to me if one or the other is not entirely clear to you.
Please understand, however, if I cannot go into your problem in great detail. A letter is not a substitute for a conversation with a therapist. If you would like to find out more about how you can change your life by changing your attitudes, then I would like to recommend the book “Understanding feelings, coping with problems”, which I wrote with my partner Doris Wolf.
Depression: 5 Typical Effects
Depression is a mental disorder. They differ in their strength and duration. Mild depression has little effect on everyday life. Severe depression can be so bad that the depressed person is unable to go about their daily tasks and duties. Depressive moods can either occur from time to time or they last for months or even years. Characteristics of depression Thinking, feeling, acting and physical well-being are affected by depressive moods.
Much research has clearly shown that the way you think about yourself and your life plays a crucial role in creating and maintaining your depression.
When you are depressed, you see yourself as a failure or an inferior person. The world is threatening to you and you see your life and your future in very dark colors. You tend to see only the negative in a lot. This negative attitude towards life leads to your depressive moods and keeps you trapped in it. The result is negative feelings and a number of physical discomforts. These, in turn, reinforce your negative thoughts. You have the impression: “Nothing is wrong with me. I'm no longer useful. ”You are in a vicious circle. Negative thoughts lead to negative feelings, which in turn cause you to think more negatively about yourself. This is how you keep your depression alive or even worse. Your physical and mental health makes it difficult for you to focus on what you are doing. You remember names and appointments poorly or not at all. You have difficulty making decisions. You may even think about killing yourself. This is the most dangerous and serious sign of depression.
A feeling of unhappiness is the first sign that you are depressed. You feel sad and down and find it difficult to enjoy something. However, sadness alone does not make depression. Many people feel sad at times without feeling depressed. Sadness can even be an appropriate feeling, such as losing a loved one. However, if the sadness persists for a very long time and if it is so great that you feel that you have no control over your life, then it is certainly inappropriate. She then turned into depression. You are angry with yourself and feel inferior. You may also feel very guilty about it. You blame yourself for things you did or said and think you are a bad person. A feeling of loneliness is also a hallmark of depressed people. They feel alone and abandoned by everyone, even when other people are there to take care of them. Various fears are often associated with depression. They relate to your partner, work, your own health, the future or, in general, to life.
When you are depressed, you tend to be more passive. This is because you are either not convinced that you can do something right or because you think you cannot enjoy it. You withdraw from people around you and from those around you and gradually lose interest in what is going on around you.
4. Physical condition
When you are depressed, you feel energized and limp. You have trouble sleeping, wake up in the middle of the night or early in the morning, or you sleep more and wake up exhausted in the morning. You have less or no appetite and as a result you lose weight, or you eat more than usual and gain weight. You may also lose interest in sexual contact. Thinking, feeling, acting and physical well-being are interwoven like the web of a spider. So your negative thinking leads to feelings like sadness and unhappiness. For you, these give rise to even more negative thoughts that make your feelings worse. Your unpleasant feelings lead you to withdraw more and more from your environment and life. You don't feel like talking. The less you do, the more sluggish you and your body become and the more you think that you can no longer do anything. You have the impression that you are only a burden to others and thus reinforce your negative image of yourself. Due to your poor mental state, you only have a poor appetite, so you eat less and weaken your body. You become energyless and powerless. You find it increasingly difficult to get yourself up to an activity. And again, it is your negative thoughts that paralyze you even more and make you even more depressed. This is a vicious circle that takes you deeper and deeper into your depression.
What types of depressive moods are there?
There are also different types of depressive moods. The most common are reactive and neurotic depression. Depending on their strength, they may require psychotherapeutic treatment. There are good tests for this. With their help, you can reliably determine whether you have just a slight depressive mood or a severe depression. Based on the result, you can see whether it is helpful or important for you to confide in a psychotherapist. One differentiates:
1. Reactive depression
It is in response to events that you cannot cope with. Such events can include: loss of a loved one, loss of job, retirement, rejection by others, or failure to complete a task. It is not the event as such that is responsible for your depressive reaction, but how you experience and process the situation. This form of depressive mood is the most common.
2. Neurotic Depression
Unprocessed problems and conflicts from childhood lead to this form of depression. Most of the time, the parents were very overprotective and protective or very strict and demanding. As a result, their children have not learned how to deal with problems and difficulties in an appropriate and successful way.
3. Exhaustion depression
It develops as a result of long-term mental or physical overload.
4. Endogenous depression
Here chemical or hormonal processes in the body are made responsible for the development. For example, it has been found that the serotonin content of some depressed people is reduced. Taking this substance improves the depressive mood. However, whether the low serotonin content is the cause of the depression is still controversial. In general, it is very difficult to diagnose depression as endogenous depression. What is certain, however, is that endogenous depression is the least common. As a rule, they are only treated with medication. Psychotherapeutic treatment is usually not enough here. However, it is very helpful as a supportive measure.
Is there a depressive disposition?
Many depressed patients who come to my practice report time and again that their doctor told them that they are depressed and that they have to live with it. The only help they could get would be medication. I disagree: I firmly believe that depression is not an immutable fate. Unless you have endogenous depression, you can always learn to get rid of your depression without psychotropic drugs. Medication can be very useful at the beginning of psychotherapeutic treatment. However, they cannot cure a depressive mood because they do not address the causes. That is why I reject medication as the only form of therapy for depressive moods. If you are under medical treatment and your doctor only prescribes medication, then insist on psychotherapeutic treatment.
With the exception of endogenous depression, all other depressions are learned. What I mean by this is that we are not born and doomed to be depressed. When people are depressed, it is mostly because of the way in which they learned as children to see and judge themselves, the world and the things in it. Today as an adult you can learn to see things through different eyes. You can acquire skills that will enable you to improve your emotional wellbeing. The methods I am about to introduce to you in this book have proven to be very effective on many people. You can benefit from them too.
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