5 Depression worksheets

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This page provides effective worksheets to help individuals cope and manage OCD depression symptoms.

Some of these worksheets have been created by us while others have been curated from reputable third-party websites.

What are depression worksheets?

Depression worksheets are activities that can be done as a part of the self help process as well as in clinical settings, assisted by a professional, to help an individual cope with major symptoms of depression. 

The worksheets act as a tool to help people develop an awareness about their cognitive processes that influence or aggravate their depression symptoms as well as help them come up with strategies to make positive changes in their lives.

What is depression?

Depression or clinically known as major depressive disorder, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders, is a  serious mood disorder where people affected by it experience persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness. 

Apart from these emotional distress, people with depression can also experience physical symptoms such as chronic pain, or changes in their behaviour such as social withdrawal or slowed movements.

For someone to be diagnosed with clinical depression, symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. 

These symptoms should indicate change from normal functioning. 

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day- either by their own observation or observation made by others.
  • Diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia. 
  • A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
  • Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

To be diagnosed with depression, these symptoms must cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. 

These symptoms should also not be the result of substance abuse or another medical condition.

Control influence worksheet

What does this worksheet do?

This worksheet has been designed to enable a person to break down their various situations that they are struggling with and to identify what they can control and what they cannot. 

The worksheet invites the person to strategies their areas of influences and make choices depending on what they can control. 

How will this worksheet help?

This worksheet helps an individual develop understanding of what they have in their control and take action based on what they do have finluce in so as to empower them and help them move forward forma  state of hopelessness. 

How to use this worksheet?

To use this worksheet, engage with the prompts given and answer them truthfully as you go through each step. 

You can cuse real or imagined scenarios to work through in the worksheet and apply it in other areas of their life. 

You can access this worksheet here

This is a good activity for individuals with depression to help break down situations. The model allows better visualisation of different aspects of a situation and what specifically can be controlled, instead of worrying about all the possible outcomes.

Guilt and Shame worksheet

What does this worksheet do?

This worksheet has been designed to enable an individual to work through the shame and guilt that they experience when they are depressed. 

It invites them to look at their situations and themselves with empathy and also encourages them to look at their circumstances in a more healthy and adaptive way by trying to reconstruct their perspectives. 

How will this worksheet help?

This worksheet helps people rationalise the shame and guilt they feel about being depressed as well as about themselves. 

This worksheet helps people cope with one of the major cognitive and emotional symptoms of depression and by doing so it helps to combat feelings of worthlessness. 

How to use this worksheet?

To use this worksheet, engage with the prompts given in the sheet and answer them truthfully while being compassionate with themselves. 

You can access this worksheet here

Depression triggers worksheet

What does this worksheet do?

This worksheet has been designed to enable an individual to identify various triggers such as images, news, people, circumstances etc, that impact them negatively and cause them to engage in negative thinking and experience negative feelings like hopelessness and worthlessness. 

How will this worksheet help?

This worksheet helps an individual identify triggers so that they can actively make an effort to cope with the triggers by setting up avoidance or distraction strategies so as to reduce exposure to these triggers and hence reduce risk of negative spirals that lead to low moods. 

How to use this worksheet?

To use this worksheet make a note of the situation that you have been triggered to feel sad, hopeless, worthless, and other negative feelings. 

List them as triggers- it can be people, situations, objects etc. 

The note down how you deal with them and also note down some avoidance or distraction strategies that can help you cope with these triggers. 

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Pleasurable activities worksheet

What does this worksheet do?

This worksheet enables an individual to experience more positive emotions by engaging in activities that bring them joy as well as pleasure. 

The worksheet invites the individual to explore the various things they had once enjoyed or might not be trying out that they think will be fun and create a list of things for them to engage in. 

How will this worksheet help?

This exercise helps an individual to engage in positive activities that bring them joy and encourages them to engage in doing things that can inculcate a sense of meaning and well-being in them.

How to use this worksheet?

To use this worksheet, write down a list of things that you used to do that you loved and enjoyed. Add in activities that you’d like to try out as well that are aligned with your interest in things that you think will be fun.

Take time and effort to try out the things on the list one at a time, daily or weekly.

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Challenging depressing thoughts worksheet

What does this worksheet do?

This worksheet is designed to enable an individual to challenge and disrupt their irrational thoughts, cognitive assumptions that trigger their low moods and feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. 

The worksheet invites them to dispute these thoughts and replace it with more positive, realistic, and hopeful ways of thinking about the situation. 

How will this worksheet help?

This worksheet helps in the process of disputing negative thoughts that are irrational as well as challenging cognitive assumptions that cause an individual to feel hopeless, worthless which can trigger low moods.

By disputing these thoughts the worksheet helps an individual to look at these thoughts realistically and replace them with healthier ones. 

How to use this worksheet?

To use this worksheet, note down the thoughts that trigger a sense of hopelessness and worthlessness as well as other negative feelings. 

Next, dispute these thoughts and replace them with healthier and more realistic and kinder ways of thinking about yourself and others. 

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References

American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association, 2013.

Higuera. V, Everything You Need to Know About Depression (Major Depressive Disorder), Healthline, November 16th, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/health/depression

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