Behavioral Aspects of Depression

As is the case with many other topics of mental health, one of the reasons for depression are dysfunctional thoughts and emotions, which lead to a negatively biased perception of reality. Moreover, a mix of toxic emotions and irrational thoughts can only result in dysfunctional behaviors.

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The behavioral aspects of depression are those that change your life most visibly. When you feel too weak to go to work or do chores, you spend an less and less time socializing, and you avoid activities your previously loved, that’s when the problem becomes apparent.

Ignoring your experience may be somewhat possible for a short period of time, but avoiding the real consequences of depression is absolutely impossible. That is why it is crucial to have in mind a tangible idea of what depression is.

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Social Life

You probably already know that depression is often characterized by a tendency to be more irritable. In other words, one might become sulky, moody, difficult to please and unpleasant with others.

Of course, the person battling depression is not to blame for this, since for them it is challenging to feel joy or pleasure, in the place of pain. However, others grow tired of offering help, without receiving any positive feedback in return.

Supporting Yourself

Although having a support network is crucial, you are the only one who can actually do anything about your own depression. If you’d like to have a healthy social life once again, and attract others rather than push them away, learning how to help yourself is a great strategy.

Behaviors and Consequences

When depression strikes, all those wonderful activities you used to enjoy suddenly become boring, irritating, or you simply don’t have the energy to engage. “If I can’t find any joy or meaning in what I do, what’s the point of doing it?” - that’s how people who struggle with depression may often reason.

At first, this state might be confused with laziness, but it’s actually a result of negativity and hopelessness, which are associated with depression.

Behavioral Rewards

Regardless of the activity, people rely on both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. For instance, you go to work because it gives you a sense of satisfaction (intrinsic reward) and because you get payed (extrinsic reward). If for some reason you suddenly lose interest in your job, the consequence could be devastating.

Your performance will drop and sooner or later and you might be let go, which would result in a number of socio-economic and psychological losses.

As you can see, the psychological aspects of depression cannot be ignored, because they have behavioral repercussions that can easily and drastically change your life for the worse.

Self-Motivation

Just like rewards, motivation can be both intrinsic and extrinsic. We do things because we’re intrinsically motivated, or because there are other, external factors that push us towards a certain behavior.

The problem with depression is that it completely shuts down our internal desire to achieve things in life. Not only that, but it also prevents us from rejoicing in external motivation.

Motivation Is Always Key

Without motivation, we are doomed to fail even before we start. Everything from small tasks to lifelong goals, depends on this one crucial factor – motivation.

In fact, even the success of your efforts to cope with depression, using this guide, depends largely on your ability and willingness to find the right motivation. But don’t worry, this topic will be further discussed later on.

Decision-Making

Life is full of countless choices. Whether it’s choosing your outfit for the day or deciding the right career path, decision-making is a constant part of human existence. Without this valuable skill, people would be doomed to experience anxiety and indecision almost daily.

Not feeling motivated to do something will inevitably affect your decision-making skills, which in turn leads to behavioral consequences. For instance, if you can’t decide whether to go shopping or work on a project, you’ll remain in a state of idleness, which will render your time wasted. In such cases, any decision is better than doing nothing.

Learning to Make Decisions

Depression is tricky because there are numerous factors that interact and influence each other, resulting in an overall state of idle confusion. The best strategy is to take it one step at a time. We’ll start by exploring new ways of setting short and long-term goals, as well as encouraging yourself and setting yourself up for success.

Full reference: 

(Apr 12, 2016). Behavioral Aspects of Depression. Retrieved Dec 12, 2018 from Explorable.com: https://explorable.com/e/behavioral-aspects-of-depression

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