The normal ups and downs of life mean that everyone feels sad or has "the blues" from time to time. But if emptiness and despair have taken hold of your life and won't go away, you may have depression.
Depression makes it tough to function and enjoy life like you once did. Just getting through the day can be overwhelming. But no matter how hopeless you feel, you can get better.
Understanding the signs, symptoms, causes and treatment of depression is the first step to overcoming the problem.
Negative thoughts and behaviour may predispose an individual to depression and make it nearly impossible to escape its downward spiral.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for depression (NICE Guidelines).
At the heart of CBT is an assumption that a person's mood is directly related to his or her patterns of thought. Negative, dysfunctional thinking affects a person's mood, sense of self, behaviour and even physical state.
CBT aims to help clients change patterns of behaviour that come from dysfunctional thinking.