Depressed patients not only interpret their experiences as negative, but they devalue themselves as well. If a depressed individual does not do as well as expected on a test or a business venture, a likely immediate reaction is to think of himself or herself as ineffective and undesirable. A striking feature of the depressed patient is the tendency to overgeneralize from a particular incident. A student who had difficulty getting a date on a single occasion thought, "I must be repulsive to girls." A highly successful businessman who made one transaction that lost money became obsessed by the idea that he was stupid. A mother whose child was untidy on one occasion thought, "I'm a terrible parent."
Depressed patients often see themselves solely in terms of their deficiencies. Further, these negative self-evaluations are usually associated with self-rejection. Patients often will not only see themselves as inferior, but will criticize, reproach, and castigate themselves for being so inferior. Thoughts of ineffectiveness, inferiority, and inadequacy abound in individuals with depression.
Was this article helpful?
Are You Depressed? Heard the horror stories about anti-depressants and how they can just make things worse? Are you sick of being over medicated, glazed over and too fat from taking too many happy pills? Do you hate the dry mouth, the mania and mood swings and sleep disturbances that can come with taking a prescribed mood elevator?