Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off your first 2 months of Unlimited Monthly. Start your subscription for just £35.99 £24.99. New subscribers only T&Cs apply

Find out more

Welcome to Week 4

Professor Shirley Reynolds welcomes us to Week 4 of 'Understanding depression and low mood in young people'.
Hello, welcome to Week four. This Week, we’re going to focus on thinking about thinking. This is because when we’re depressed, when people are depressed, their thoughts, their ways of thinking, their thought processes become very, very negative and can get quite stuck. These negative ways of thinking about the self, the world, and the future can really interfere with any attempts to try and get better, to try and change things. Thinking also gets very stuck. We talk about people ruminating when they’re depressed. So they think and worry away about the same thoughts over and over again. And again, this has the effect of keeping their low mood and their depression going. So we’re going to show you a piece of therapy.
So you’ll get an idea of how, in therapy, you might work to think about how to tackle negative thoughts that keep depression going. We’re also going to hear from a young person themselves who’s been depressed, and she’ll tell us about how she experienced negative thoughts that kept her depression rolling and going on, and on, and on. And we’ll hear from her mum. She’ll talk to us about what she observed in her daughter, and also how they used therapy to help tackle those negative thoughts, and what effect that had on them.

Hello and welcome to Week 4. This week we’re going to focus on an aspect of depression that we cannot see – thinking. Our thoughts are invisible but very powerful. Depression is linked to negative thoughts about who we are, ‘the self’, what will happen, ‘the future’, and everything else ‘the world’.

‘Thinking’ includes planning, wondering, hoping, imagining, and remembering. We’re almost always thinking but often we’re not aware of our thoughts, and our thoughts are invisible to other people. In this Week, we’re going to examine how thoughts affect our moods and behaviours, how thoughts contribute to depression and low mood, and how negative thoughts can make it very difficult to break away from depression. We’ll also look at some techniques that can help identify negative thoughts, and then check and challenge them.

This Week builds on the topics we explored in Week 3, which focused on how moods and behaviours impact on each other. Last Week, we asked you to keep a thought diary to catch your thoughts as they happened. If you haven’t filled in your diary yet, why not complete one now for the next two days or so?

You can find a blank diary at the bottom of the Step which you can download and print. We’ll be looking at this later in the Week so please keep it to hand.

Course tip

Don’t forget that between 16 November and 18 December, Dr Michelle Lee and your course mentors, Laura and Will, will be supporting the course discussions. Click on the link in their profile to follow them.

This article is from the free online

Understanding Depression and Low Mood in Young People

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now