09 Oct Why do negative beliefs persist in depression?
Here’s an interesting research article. The summary of the article is:
- People with depression often have negative beliefs about themselves, others, and the world.
- These beliefs can be difficult to change because people with depression tend to dismiss positive evidence and focus on negative evidence.
- This can lead to a vicious cycle where negative beliefs lead to negative emotions, which in turn lead to more negative beliefs.
- There are a number of things that can be done to help people with depression change their negative beliefs, such as therapy and medication.
Our research has shown that people with depression tend to negatively re-interpret the positive information they receive. For example, someone might question the credibility of the information, as demonstrated by the patient who didn’t believe that I had enjoyed our conversation. Or, one might consider positive information to be an exception rather than the rule (eg, by thinking, It was just lucky that I did not fail for once).
For people with depression, beliefs about the self, other people, and the world are often decoupled from actual experience in a damaging way – a problem that is amplified by negative emotions and exacerbated by social withdrawal and inactivity.