Recap: fact or opinion?

In session six we learned how to question unhelpful thoughts by asking “is it fact or opinion”. We also continued with your thought diary and suggested that you might want to combat negative thoughts with positive ones. In this session we’re going to look at some of the unhelpful things that people with depression sometimes do. 


Session seven: stop doing unhelpful things

By now the vicious cycle is almost completely destroyed and so we can focus on changing the little things that might risk you becoming unwell again. Here’s a list of unhelpful things that can make depression worse. Do you do any of them?

Avoiding people

Avoiding your friends, family or work colleagues.

Putting things off

Avoiding dealing with things like deadlines and household bills.

Seeking reassurance

Constantly asking friends or family for reassurance (doing this is never good in the long run- you need to learn to be able to reassure yourself)

Unhealthy eating

Comfort eating, binge eating or not even enough. It’s important to have a balanced diet with some treats every so often.

Alcohol & caffeine

Drinking too much alcohol or caffeine is obviously not good for anyone. 

Sleep problems

Struggling to get to sleep, sleeping too much or waking up in the night. Bad sleep can have a serious impact on your mood.

Comparing yourself to others

Constantly looking at people with ‘perfect’ lives on social media can make you feel terrible.

Harming yourself or others

Coping with distress by hurting yourself or lashing out at others is never helpful.

Most of the things above can be hard to change because they make you feel better in the short term but if you don’t make a plan to address them, you are at risk of relapsing into depression again. 

Have a think about any unhelpful things that you do that you want to stop doing and make a magic plan to help you achieve your goal. Take a look at session two if you want to refresh your memory about how to make a magic plan.

Remember- you will have setbacks but it’s essential to pick yourself back up and try again when things go wrong.

Remember these things:

You’ve come a long way: even if you don’t feel like you’re completely better, you’ve learned some really powerful tools to help you do more normal things and fight back when you have negative thoughts.

You will have setbacks: battling depression is very hard. What’s important is that you keep trying even when things don’t go well.


Session seven Complete!

Here’s your homework:

1. Keep practicing all the skills you’ve learned in this course until you start to feel better. You can repeat any of the sessions as many times as you need and in any order.

2. Remember to see a doctor if you haven’t already done so, especially if you don’t feel any better than when you started.

3. When you are sure that you have made a good recovery from depression, move on to session eight.

© the brain clinic

Important: this self-help website is provided as a support tool to be used alongside professional help. The website is not intended to provide medical advice of any sort and you must see a doctor if you think you may have a mental illness.

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