LINK-How we make our depression worse

by polymathwannabe1 min read21st Feb 201410 comments

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http://www.alternet.org/print/books/youre-making-your-depression-worse-self-help-bringing-us-down

TL;DR:

only a human being can feel bad about feeling bad

results in a positive feedback loop pushing people into depression.

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Downvoted as a matter of course for the disrespectful lack of a summary. This would have been enough:

only a human being can feel bad about feeling bad

results in a positive feedback loop pushing people into depression.

I did not know LW had that rule.

Point learned.

I did not know LW had that rule.

It doesn't. I am trying to change that. And thanks for adding the summary (downvote removed).

[-][anonymous]8y 13

Upvoting OP to encourage responding to feedback.

LW doesn't work directly through rules. It works through voting.

There is another important information towards the end of the article: different cultures have different connotations of "happiness" -- high arousal positive state (enthusiasm or excitement) vs. low arousal positive state (calm and serenity). The latter can be held for a long time, the former can not.

Thus by defining hapiness as a state of perpetual excitement, you are already sowing seeds of your future disappointment with your life.

(By the way: depression can also have biological reasons, indepenent on the topic of the article.)

There is another important information towards the end of the article: different cultures have different connotations of "happiness" -- high arousal positive state (enthusiasm or excitement) vs. low arousal positive state (calm and serenity). The latter can be held for a long time, the former can not.

Not only different culture. Even different age groups of the same culture have different notions.

Thanks for the information about how different cultures value happiness, and the implication that the high value Americans place on being enthusiastic all the time might be a bad mistake.

On the other hand, I think the author doesn't get rumination right-- to my mind, the distinctive quality of rumination is focusing on a problem while having lost track of the possibility of a solution.

The good news is that our higher cognitive abilities also allow us to overcome depression in many situations. In Stumbling on Happiness, Daniel Gilbert explains how useful it is that we can rationalize away bad events in our lives (such as rejection). This capability, which Gilbert refers to as our psychological immune system, explains why people are able to bounce back from negative events much more quickly than they expect to.

[-][anonymous]7y -2

""Extensive research on the effects of rumination, or the tendency to self-reflect, shows that the negative form of rumination interferes with people’s ability to focus on problem-solving and results in dwelling on negative thoughts about past failures.[17] Evidence from studies suggests that the negative implications of rumination are due to cognitive biases, such as memory and attentional biases, which predispose ruminators to selectively devote attention to negative stimuli.[18]

The tendency to negatively ruminate is a stable constant over time and serves as a significant risk factor for clinical depression. Not only are habitual ruminators more likely to become depressed, but experimental studies have demonstrated that people who are induced to ruminate experience greater depressed mood.[6] There is also evidence that rumination is linked to general anxiety, post traumatic stress, binge drinking, eating disorders, and self-injurious behavior.[9]

Rumination was originally believed to predict the duration of depressive symptoms. In other words, ruminating about problems was presumed to be a form of memory rehearsal which was believed to actually lengthen the experience of depression. The evidence now suggests that although rumination contributes to depression, it is not necessarily correlated with the duration of symptoms.[9]""

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