If five or more of the following symptoms have been present during the last 2 week
period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least 1 of the symptoms
is either depressed mood or loss of pleasure. Do not include symptoms that are clearly
due to a general medical condition, are mood congruent delusions or hallucinations.
Symptoms of Depression
Depressed mood for most of the day, nearly every day
Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or nearly all, activities
Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain
Insomnia or hypersomnia every day (or nearly every day)
Psychomotor agitation or retardation every day (or nearly every day)
Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt nearly every day
Diminished ability to think/concentrate or indecisiveness nearly every day
Recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt or specific plan
The Cognitive Behavioural therapist will employ a combination of behavioural and
cognitive techniques for the treatment of depressed mood.
Generally the treatment regimen progresses from assessment to the formulation of
the maintaining factors; including cognitive, emotional, physical, motivational and
behavioural symptoms unique to the patient.
After a satisfactory formulation has been constructed the initial focus of CBT will
be on the behavioural interventions; such as activity recording, planning and graded
assignment, which both identify helpful and unhelpful behaviours (including identification of the level of mood associated with these behaviours) with the intention of increasing those that are helpful and
decreasing those that are unhelpful.
Once the behavioural component has been implemented to good effect the therapist
will introduce cognitive interventions aimed at identifying possible errors in thinking
and unhelpful thoughts and beliefs. These may be then challenged through a combination
of verbal reattribution, behavioural experimentation and Socratic questioning.
Final stages of the therapeutic interventions are aimed at relapse prevention strategies.
Therapy may be conducted in either individual or group format, depending on the severity of the problems and the needs of the individual.