Data Driven Depression

Last week when my Psychiatrist asked me if I was feeling better about reducing a commitment from life I answered her honestly.  Yes, of course it feels nice to have less of a weight on my shoulders, but there is always something new to feel guilty about, that is just how I am.

So I guess I walked directly into a classic psychotherapist playbook.  Dr. M quickly pulled out her laptop and sent me a link to the first google hit for Cognitive Distortions.  I read the link, didn’t think it really made a lot of sense to me, but when Cory pointed out that it was the first hit he received when he looked up what are Cognitive Distortions, I decided to dig a little deeper to see if maybe Google didn’t have the utmost authority on the topic at the top of its list.  I came across a Ted Talk by David Burns.  Dr. Burns is one of the fathers of the Cognitive Behavior Therapy, which I had never really heard of before this week.


I realized a couple of things while listening to this talk.  1. Every self help book that I have read over the years is trying to get me to the same conclusion that this guy has.  2. I should just go to the source and read HIS self help book.

I about a quarter of the way through the book, and I have to say that I love both the accessible yet academic nature of the book itself, and I also really love the idea of using Data to understand, evaluate and maybe even cure depression.

I started my data collection nearly immediately.  I carry a small notebook with me, and every time I have a thought for a situational reaction that feeds my negative feelings, I write it down.  It’s been a day and a half and I feel like I already better understand the root of my problem.

This is my blog, so I intend to continue to share my experience, though the thoughts I have written in my little notebook will never see the light of digital glow.  I am very ashamed of my miserable, jealous and pathetic thoughts.  Progress comes slowly, and I am committed to it.

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