When you are depressed, you begin to withdraw from the familiar framework of your life into the world inside your mind. You forget to notice the pleasant things you see and do, the events that measure your days and help remind you that you are alive and vital. You get out of the habit of interacting with the world around you, and you forget to reap the rewards of living. The Life Activation Framework [LAF] is designed to counter these withdrawal tendencies and help you put yourself together again.
Unipolar major depression distorts your perception so that you only notice the dark, ugly, depressing things in your life. LAF provides a framework to help you notice the delightful and happy aspects of life again. It helps you enjoy and respond to the good and positive ingredients of your world and take an active role in the details of your personal life. Maybe most important, it can help you remember who you are without depression.
To use LAF, carefully remove the Life Activation Framework worksheet from the book (page 248), and make copies. Every evening for the rest of the week, sit down, look through the LAF worksheet, and check the boxes that apply to you that day. Make sure you are carefully observing everything that happens each day so that you can fill in the worksheet accurately. On Sunday, sit down with the LAF worksheet and go over the events of your life in the prior week. If you think of new items to add to the list, write them in the blank spaces on the worksheets to use next time. Save your old worksheets, and review them periodically to reinforce your progress.
You will know that LAF is working for you when you find yourself participating more and more actively in the fabric of your life and looking forward to positive experiences every day.
- Won’t I just depress my friends if I hang around with them?
- How do I know if PEP is working for my depression?
- What is the best thing I can do on my own to get my depression under control?
- What can I do at home to help stop my depression?
- What should I do if my grief and depression are making me think of suicide?
- Will grief go away on its own?
- With whom can I talk about my grief after losing a loved one?
- Can a person practice psychotherapy without any training?
- What do I do if I’m taking an antidepressant but I still feel depressed?
- What is Internet psychotherapy?
- Should I get a religious practitioner who is also trained as a counselor?
- What are the roles of religion and prayer?
- Are holistic approaches like therapeutic touch effective in treating depression?
- Does hypnosis work well for unipolar major depression?
- Can psychologists, counselors, or social workers prescribe antidepressants?
- Who is the most affordable: a psychiatrist, a professional psychologist, a social worker, or a counselor?
- What are the differences between types of mental health workers?
- Can I pick my own psychotherapist if I go to an HMO or clinic for my mental health care?
- Can I ask my psychiatrist to be my therapist?
- My depression is 80-90 percent gone is that good enough?