Cognitive Behavioral Therapy DIY

As I have mentioned recently, I’ve been feeling a lot better about life. I have more energy, physically and mentally, and it’s just easier to get out of bed in the morning and face the world.

Normally, my flavor of depression, dysthymia, responds well to most of the standard antidepressants, but for whatever reason, I do not do well with them.

I picked up a copy of The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression: A Step-by-step Program on Amazon. I started working through it in January, when things had gotten low enough that I actually bounced a bit. I was in the middle of a double depression that was probably the worst episode I can recall having in over a decade.

This book has been extremely valuable, and has helped me a great deal. The book provides a good overview of the many types of depression, and then moves on to a depression inventory. This personal inventory is cross-referenced with sections of the book that deal with solutions for specific types of disorders. At the end of each of these sections, there is a worksheet designed to help you develop a plan for positive change.

I took the inventory, which uses a standard Likert item response form to indicate possible areas of concern, and then looked at all of the items that were the most severe. In my case, a majority of the items all referred back to a particular section of the book, so it was obvious to me that I should start working there first.

I recently took the inventory again, and made some comparisons. Some of the items had remained the same, many had improved, and a couple even got worse, but this gave me a much better insight into how I’ve been feeling than I’ve had in a very long time. I have identified some new areas for focus and have a plan to deal with them. This kind of proactive approach works very well for me, and helps me know that I can have control over my depression.

The book was written by William J. Knaus, ED. D. and is widely available.