Depressed individuals are often withdrawn from pleasant, social and/or physical activities. They may avoid facing their problems and engaging in typical accomplishment-related activities. In this way, depression can lead to a cycle of inactivity, withdrawal, and inertia. There are disruptions in healthy routines, an ever-narrower repertoire of functional behaviors, and a decreased sense of accomplishment. As a result, more problems develop.
Behavioral activation helps individuals re-establish healthy routines, increase positive experiences, and overcome avoidance patterns. This activation leads to improved mood and better functioning. Behavioral activation is a key element of Problem Solving Treatment (PST) and of the other components of the PEARLS Program.