Problem Solving to Manage Depression

When feeling depressed or low in mood, we can find problems difficult to manage and sometimes overwhelming. We may allow things to get on top of us, problems then develop and we then allow tasks to build up.

Not only are the problems there but we may also begin to “beat ourselves up” for not solving problems and see ourselves as lazy and useless; which only makes us feel worse.

Looking at problems, that are adding to your low mood,  is one step towards managing them.

You may identify a certain problem that is contributing to your depression . This is when a problem solving approach is useful.

Lets say the problem is debt, think of possible solutions to manage it such as:

Get a different job

Get advice about the debt and how to manage it in better ways

Sell possessions

Consolidate your debt to reduce payments/interest growth

Once you have listed possible solutions, pick the one that suits you best then consider what things need to be in place to help you achieve this. Consider things like: who will i need to help with this? What is needed to be done and in what order? What may prevent me from achieving this and what would be plan B? Discussing this approach with friends and/or family can be beneficial too.

An example problem solving worksheet can be viewed here.

Download the blank problem solving worksheet by clicking here  and complete with the problems you identify.


Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

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