Depression makes everything harder, including the stuff we used to enjoy. This can lead us to avoid those things. Unfortunately, when depression and avoidance join forces, it can be really bad news.
Behavioral activation is a treatment for depression that helps people focus on re-engagement with their lives. Specifically, it gets people doing precisely the things that are likely to improve their mood (Jacobson, Martell, & Dimidjian, 2001). Generally, when a depressed person is in behavioral activation treatment, they change the activities in their life to lessen depression. The therapist helps them to structure their lives differently.
Rather than assuming that there is a deficiency in the depressed individual, behavioral activation takes a more practical approach. It examines what is occurring in the person’s life to worsen or maintain the depression. This often involves looking at the things they do, the situations they find themselves in, and the things they avoid.