Most people have felt sad or depressed at some point in their lives. Depressed feelings can be a normal reaction to a life change or loss in your life. But when these feelings of sadness last for an extended period of time it can interfere with your daily life. Many people suffering with depression feel hopeless. Depression can cause irritability, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, a lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating, and disturbances in your sleep. Feelings of worthlessness or guilt are also common emotions associated with depression. There are many life events that may lead to depression such as a divorce or relationship difficulties, a death, financial strain, a move, or a life change such as becoming a new parent. Over 15 million people are affected by depression in the United States.
Depression is a common problem and during the past few years very effective treatments have been developed. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is among the treatments that have been extensively evaluated and shown to be effective through research. CBT primarily focuses on the present not the past and addresses negative thinking that may be effecting your ability to achieve your goals and improve your mood. CBT follows the theory that thoughts effect our emotions. For example, if you have a negative thought about yourself than you will have a negative emotion. In contrast, if you have a positive thought about yourself you will have a positive emotion. By focusing on those negative thoughts we can work together to challenge them and create more positive thoughts leading to a positive way of living.