If you suffer from a chronic medical condition like diabetes, HIV, hypertension, cancer, or asthma you know how hard it can be to perform all the self-care behaviors required of you, especially if you are also dealing with depression. Studies have shown that depressed individuals with chronic illness have a hard time keeping up with the behaviors necessary to manage their condition and improve their health. The program outlined in this workbook can help you take better care of yourself while simultaneously relieving your depression.
Designed to be used in conjunction with visits to a qualified mental health professional, this workbook teaches you strategies for maintaining your medical regimen. You will learn how to both cope with depression and manage important behaviors necessary to manage your illness. Simplifying steps include learning to set up a reminder system for taking medication, plan for getting to medical appointments on time, and communicate effectively with your medical providers. You will also learn how to follow the advice of your treatment providers, such as adhering to certain lifestyle and dietary recommendations. These Life-Steps are essential to the program. As you begin to take better care of yourself, you will notice a decrease in your depression.
In addition to these self-care skills, you will also learn how to maximize your quality of life, which is another important part of lessening your depressed feelings. Begin to re-engage in pleasurable activities and think more adaptively about stressful situations. Use problem-solving to successfully deal with interpersonal or situational difficulties and relaxation training to help you cope with stress and/medical symptoms. By treatment"s end you will have all the skills you need to successfully manage your illness and cope with your depression.