Protect Yourself Against Depression – Part 2by Dr Emma Gray - 8th December, 2014
In the first part of this blog we looked at how it is the way that we think about situations that determines our mood, not the situations themselves.
In the second part of this blog we will explore some of the key ways of thinking that lead to depression.
1. Generalisation of Negative Consequences
Generalisation is a tendency to assume that the occurrence of single negative outcome is an indication that all future outcomes in similar situation will also be negative, for example being turned down for a job means that you will never get a job, a relationship ending means you will always be alone.
This tendency however is only applied to negative outcomes, positive or neutral outcomes are dismissed, ignored or minimised so there is no balance in the way that the world is evaluated and as a result the future always looks bleak and hopelessness for the future places you in a very vulnerable position with regards to depression (see part 3 of this blog for more information about hopeless predictions about the future).
If you identify this tendency in yourself try keeping a written record of both negative and positive outcomes so that you can make more accurate predictions for the future and rebalance your expectations of yourself, others and the world.
2. Negative Evaluation of Ourselves.
This involves not only a tendency to be hyper critical of ourselves across situations but also the propensity to filter out our achievements and successes. Such a negatively skewed way of evaluating ourselves will undermine both self esteem and confidence, aspects of our personality that are pivotal in protecting our mood.
Once identified as tendency this self critical voice or train of thought should be monitored and observed on a daily basis using a diary where you write down word for word your critical self statements and then evaluated their accuracy and helpfulness, correcting where appropriate.
Click below to navigate to the first and third part of this multi part article, Part 3 of this blog will look at a further 3 thinking styles that will increase your vulnerability to depression.