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Question
Posted by: aileen | 2008/01/29

depression

I was interested to see you think cbt can help long-standing depression. My mother had cbt as well as anti-depressive pills for years. She never came right. I have had a tendency towards depression all my life.I am cheerful but depressed, if you can understand that. I did a bit of cbt but I wasn't very impressed. It was to me very organised positive thinking and I tried and tried to think positively but felt like a fake and eventually gave up. I am on a low dose of antidepressant at the moment, but I do not take it all the time- just when I become sleepless. I actually think that if I could escape my situation (don't get me wrong, it's not bad, just bad for me) and start afresh away from the whole family and completely be myself without anyone to expect me to fail or be unsociable, I could come right. If I had my life again I would emigrate before i married and do just that. Do you think that wouid have helped?

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Our expert says:
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I wonder whether the probem here might be Dysthymia ( a somewhat milder but longer-lasting and more stubborn to respond to treatment -- form of Depression ? If the person you saw conducted CBT like a positive thinking class, they may well have been doing it wrong. There's a difference between artificial and phoney Positive thinking, and the stubborn negative thinking of a chronic depressive which may be no more genuine or accurate.

There is no point at all in being on "low-dose" antidepressants --- either you are on a sufficiently high dose to enable it to be effective, or you may as well not take it at all. And taking it occasionally, forbids it to act as an antidepressant, though some of the older ones may be sedative enough to help you sleep better. And is it fruitful to think about how things might have been different (they could have been better or worse) if only you'd made different choices years ago? That was then, this is now, we can't go back and revise those decisions. We can only revise our plans for tomorow, not for last week

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