The Vicious Cycle of Depression

depression cycleIn the cogntive behavioural therapy (CBT) model of depression, one of the reasons that breaking out of depression can be so difficult is that depression generates vicious cycles involving a number of aspects of your life. Once you get stuck in these vicious cycles, they can be hard to break.

According to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), when you’re experiencing depression, you will tend to have automatic negative thoughts about yourself, the world and the future. This pattern of negative thinking you deeper into depression. This brings about further negative thoughts; which lead you to feel even more depressed; bringing about more negative thoughts; and so on.

Other vicious cycles that arise from depression involve feelings, behaviours, memories and physical symptoms. These vicious cycles are depicted below (click on the image to view a larger version):

vicious cycle of depression

 
These vicious cycles act together to create downward spirals that can carry you deeper and deeper into depression. One of the keys to overcoming depression is to become aware of when these cycles are happening, and engaging in ways to slow them down, and then reverse them, transforming them from vicious cycles that lead you deeper into depression, to positive cycles that lead you out of depression.
 
The earlier in the process you become aware that these cycles are starting, the more options you have to deal with them. Once the vicious cycles begin to get stronger, they are more difficult to break. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) can help you recognize when these cycles are starting, learn what you can do to nip them in the bud, and how you can slow and reverse them once they have set in.
 
This cycle is explained in more detail in the video below:
 
 
In the next post, we’ll look at some of the ways that mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for depression can help you break these cycles.
 
 
Guelph Therapist Greg Dorter
I’m a Guelph therapist specializing in helping people overcome depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. For more information about how mindfulness and cognitive therapy/cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) for depression can help you end your vicious cycles, or to set up an appointment for counselling or therapy, please call me at 226-500-4086 or email greg@guelphtherapist.ca.
 

One thought on “The Vicious Cycle of Depression

  1. says

    Hi my name is Amelia your website is very helpful thank you very much I was stuck doing my work thank I am going to be following your Counselling Skills

    Yours faithfully
    Amelia

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