Behavior Activation Therapy

A type of treatment for psychological depression. People with diabetes have roughly twice the risk of depression as people without diabetes, and depression affects an estimated 15% to 30% of individuals with diabetes at any given time. Depression may worsen diabetes control, as the depressed person is less likely to stay active and to take all the steps necessary to ensure good blood glucose control.

Behavior activation therapy is one component of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a form of therapy that has been shown to be extremely effective in treating depression. CBT involves identifying distorted, maladaptive patterns of thinking and behaviors and replacing them with more pragmatic, problem-solving ways of thinking and acting. Behavior activation therapy specifically focuses on helping people understand the factors in their lives that may be causing depression and change behaviors that may be making the depression worse. For example, depressed individuals may no longer find enjoyment in activities they once found pleasurable and may respond by withdrawing socially. This isolation and inertia only tends to make depression worse. Behavior activation therapy is designed to counteract inertia, helping the person gradually engage in more activities that are pleasurable.

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To learn about antidepressants, another option for treating depression, see the following article: www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/2/antidepressants.