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Old 03-22-2019, 07:37 AM
rdgrad15 rdgrad15 is offline
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rdgrad15 Keep striving to be happy and maintain a positive mental attitude! :)
 
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Default Re: Is depression realism true?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverTrees View Post
Hello rdgrad. Interesting post! What exactly do you mean by 'depression realism?' I've never heard that phrase. Do you have any links or literature on it that I could read?

Depression by its nature is a distortion of thoughts...many researchers now believe it is an attention bias....a bias toward negative thoughts. People who are not depressed, or depressed people who start to feel better or have a good day, are not "unrealistic"...they are well! I am speaking as someone who has lived with depression since early childhood. So I have zero judgment for anyone living with depression but I don't think it's helpful to suggest that some level of depression or pessimism should be a goal.

The research on pessimists and optimists regarding relationships and health is very clear. Though I realize that you were talking about a middle ground. I suppose for me, a healthy middle ground involves hope.

What do you mean by "overly optimistic?" If we exclude mania or psychosis, what is wrong with optimism? To me, that would be like describing someone as "overly happy." Provided they aren't thinking they can fly off a building or something (psychosis) why would we suggest limiting a person's happiness? By its nature, happiness is episodic. So too is sadness. But depression is not the same as sadness.
Hi! Depression realism is a proposed theory or something like that that suggests that those with mild to moderate depression have a more accurate view on outcomes of various situations in life, whether it is social situations or anything else. Here is a link to one article I found. There are plenty of others but this is one of the articles I found. If you want me to find more than I will be happy to do so.

Depressive Realism | Psychology Today

I agree with you that this could be false since it is true that depression involves distortion with thoughts and beliefs. In terms of being overly optimistic, by that I mean there are some people who believe that nothing can go wrong and everything will work out well and they will always receive good outcomes. For example, some people I know who are overly optimistic may be convinced that they got a job they applied for or got into a school organization they've always wanted to get into and will go as far as to tell other people that they got whatever it is they wanted to do without any solid evidence.

Imagine their understandable disappointment and disbelief whenever they found out they actually didn't get that job or didn't get accepted into a school club or even a school of their choice. They are more emotionally wrecked than those who are more humble and know that even though it would be great if things went their way, they know that there is a possibility that things may not work out. Same for social situations. Overly optimistic people believe that everyone wants to be their friend only to be terribly disappointed and crushed when they find out that not everyone wants to be friends with them, although most people may still like them as an acquaintance.

I agree with you though that encouraging people to become mildly depressed should not be a goal. I believe there is a difference between being realistic and having true depression. That's why, even though there are articles suggesting depressive realism is true or state that there is a good possibility that those with mild depression are more accurate in determining various outcomes, it still makes me wonder how true it is since even though they are only mildly depressed, they are still depressed so their views on various outcomes may be tainted in a negative light more so than those who are just simply more humble and realistic.
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