AS@W
AS@W Antidepressant Skills Workbook: Heling You Deal With Depression
Solving Problems Effectively
Step 1Choose a problem

The first step in problem solving is to choose a problem. Sometimes, depressed individuals have difficulty identifying specific problems in their lives – they see everything as one huge problem. For them, identifying particular problems worth tackling is quite helpful. It brings them closer to finding realistic answers.

One way to identify problems is to pay close attention to how your mood changes through the week. Notice what’s happening when your mood goes down: what were you thinking about; where were you; and what happened just before your mood changed? Changes in your mood can be a helpful guide to show you where the problems are.

Some of your problems might be large ones (for example, “I have an eviction notice that comes up next week”) while some are small (“I’m going to need carrots if I want to make that salad tonight”). Other problems are somewhere in between (“There’s a pile of mail on my desk that I haven’t had the courage to look at in over a week”).

Choose one of the smaller problems that is happening now. Later, you can move up to larger problems. Try to be specific. For example, “My relationships are a mess” isn’t specific: it’s not clear what the problem is. “My best friend hasn’t called me in a month” is more specific and makes it clear what is going wrong and what you want to change.

The problem you choose is:

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Next: Step 2