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Why Self-Management?

You probably have heard the term “self-help” and may have also read a few self-help books.

When it comes to depression, most self-help books focus on acute treatment of depression based on a particular model of therapy, usually the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). While the self-help approach tries to address a particular condition using a focused treatment modality over a short period of time, self-management is learning new ways to manage an illness over a longer period of time. Unlike self-help strategies that purport to “help” you overcome depression, self-management strategies, in addition to treating depressive symptoms per se, address life style changes, social relationships, communication, problem-solving, and also include elements of wellness and recovery.

Robust evidence supports the use of self-management strategies in depression. Individuals using self-management have reduced depressive symptoms, lower relapse rates of depression, improved quality of life and psychosocial well-being, better adherence with medications, and a greater sense of self-efficacy, i.e., self-confidence in one’s abilities. Even if you are on medications or in therapy, self-management complements your ongoing treatment.

To learn more about evidence-based self-management techniques that are proven to work for depression, check out Dr. Duggal’s Author Page.