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Old 06-05-2008, 05:10 PM   #1
GirlWithTheBrokenSmile
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Depresive Realism...Discuss? *Poss Trigs*

Depressive realism is the proposition that people with depression have a more accurate view of reality.

'Some studies have shown that depressed people appear to have a more realistic perception of their importance, reputation, locus of control, and abilities'
'People without depression are more likely to have inflated self-images and look at the world through "rose-colored glasses", thanks to cognitive dissonance and a variety of other defence mechanisms.'


So i was bored and browsing Wikipedia as you do, and came across this article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depressive_realism
And found it quite interesting so thought hell, why not discuss it?

Personally i think it sounds quite credible, but would like to know what others think.



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Old 06-05-2008, 06:40 PM   #2
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I love this idea, I'm always telling people I'm a realist rather than a pessimist. It also makes sense because I've not met many depressed people who invent they're problems, rather they react differently to them to a non-depressed person. I wonder then if it's better to have a rose-tinted view of the world or a realistic one? Because perhaps if you always work on the assumption that things will turn out better than they should your likely to take risks towards those things, whereas someone else might think that it isn't very likely and therefore not bother.





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Old 06-05-2008, 07:03 PM   #3
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The way I see it, is that it's both. Not an either or. In that it's realistic to accept the reality of my past and present and how I relate and so forth. Rather than remain in my dissociated fantasy world. But seeing myself as the worst person on this earth isn't healthy or realistic. The thing is in finding a balance.

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Old 06-05-2008, 07:54 PM   #4
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I think depressed people are just as likely to be pessimistic as 'happy' people are likely to be optimistic. I reckon both mental states are capable of being properly realistic about life, it's mostly got nothing to do with if you're depressed or not, it's all about recognising who you are andyour abilities and not being too critical or too believing of yourself.
Is what I think anyway.



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Old 06-05-2008, 08:06 PM   #5
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i dont think it has any difference at all. Just because you are mentally ill, it doesnt let you see the world in all honesty, its just doesnt make a difference





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Old 06-05-2008, 08:21 PM   #6
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It kinda made sense, I feel that nearly everyone in the world is 'crazy' in the sense that thier world view is altered to make them the centre of it, rather than the true position, if they felt thier true position in the world then hardly anyone would be happy, its like that thing from the Douglas Adams book. I don't make much sense but I know what I mean : ).

I feel it's a ingrown defensive mechanism for most people to have an inflated opinion of thier worth, which is not necessarily a bad thing



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Old 06-05-2008, 08:27 PM   #7
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Guilty as charged whenever I have an epsiode I always say, "You don't see everything as clearly as I do! You're idiots!" etc. etc. Yes I'm a complete **** when I have an episode. But I mean honestly, I couldn't see depressive realism as a positive attribute, personally I see it as insanity trait in some worse cases.

And yet, I consider myself more perceptive and almost "better" than somebody who hasn't suffered mental illnes. I don't care if that's judgmental, how many times has someone with depression or a mental illness been seen as weak. **** that.



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Old 06-05-2008, 10:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
And yet, I consider myself more perceptive and almost "better"<!-- / message --> than somebody who hasn't suffered mental illnes. I don't care if that's judgmental, how many times has someone with depression or a mental illness been seen as weak. **** that.

<!-- sig -->
You think yourself better than someone who hasn't suffered a mental illness? Surely that's seeing things through and inflated self image?
In reality, suffering a mental illness doesn't make you automatically see the world in it's true form, infact the vast majority of the time a mental illness blurs what is true reality. Especially with depression.
It's such a selfish illness, it causes you to think only about yourself and what you are doing, and what you can and can't do and what bad things might've happened because of you.

Which is why I think mental illness doesn't play a part in seeing things clearly. Having your head screwed on does.

And sorry if any of that sounded at all mean or harsh, I'm just making conversation >_<



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Old 06-05-2008, 10:41 PM   #9
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How does someone know if they are depressed though? Is there symptoms or is it something that you just know?
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:51 PM   #10
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Hm. My first thought was, "Yeah, I think I see things more realistically when I'm depressed. This makes sense."

But then I read the replies and thought a little more.

Quote:
The way I see it, is that it's both. Not an either or. In that it's realistic to accept the reality of my past and present and how I relate and so forth. Rather than remain in my dissociated fantasy world. But seeing myself as the worst person on this earth isn't healthy or realistic. The thing is in finding a balance.
I think this is right on. And it made me think a little more about how I really see myself/the world when I'm stuck in depression. Sometimes maybe I do see things more realistically...but then it escalates into "I'm no good, I'm horrible and selfish and lazy and no one should care about me, I don't deserve friends, I don't deserve life, I don't deserve anything!" And as much as that seems realistic when I'm stuck in the depression, it obviously isn't.

Quote:
I feel it's a ingrown defensive mechanism for most people to have an inflated opinion of thier worth, which is not necessarily a bad thing
I agree with this, too. Maybe people with depression just never developed this defense mechanism, or somehow lost it along the way? Or depression just messes with it majorly. That's how I feel sometimes.

Quote:
Especially with depression.
It's such a selfish illness, it causes you to think only about yourself and what you are doing, and what you can and can't do and what bad things might've happened because of you.
Agh, so true. It's one of the many things that I hate hate hate about depression. It makes me SO self-centered, and even though a lot of it is the illness and not my fault - I really CAN'T see beyond all that when I'm stuck in depression - I still feel bad about it. My poor friends who probably think I've forgotten them/don't care about them because I never keep in touch... :/ It's like depression blinds you to all the good in your life.

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Old 07-05-2008, 02:12 AM   #11
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My psychologist mentioned this to me the other day when I was telling her that my main beef with CBT is that I get an overwhelming feeling that it's an attempt and conditioning oneself to think delusionally. I always feel a lot more secure with my self-image and general outlook when it has that element of "depressive realism." I don't think I'd really call it pessimism, either. I don't assume the worst, I don't think everyone sucks or anything. I just think it would be foolish to see myself as anything other than the irrelevant, unimportant, selfish and disgusting thing I am. Seriously, it feels much more right to think of myself that way than to view myself as an okay, decent person trying her best. Because I have to force that kind of thinking, I get the impression that I'm being misled when I'm instructed to start thinking that way. But that's me. And that's why I get sent to therapy. Because apparently I'm doing things the wrong way, according to someone.

Anyway, my psychologist challenges my reasoning with the notion that from a constructivist stance, there's hardly any merit to my definition of "right" and "true" and I think she has a point there. "Realism" describes a representation of truth or reality, either of which is arguably a subjective construct, so I think it can be said that some personal realities are more conducive and even healthier than others. Accepting that one's truth can be subject to construction and reconstruction is a big part of CBT for me. I think when you discuss depressive realism you have to beg the question by viewing reality as a solid and objective entity, which I don't think is entirely true.



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Old 07-05-2008, 08:38 AM   #12
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I tend to think if most people saw themselves for what they are, they'd be jumping off the next cliff. (I'm including myself in this)

I think that having a distorted perception of your own importance is nessersairy to be able to function properly in our society. I also think people like to create their own blissful ignorance, or "rose tint" to enable themselves to ignore some of the things you amost have to contribute towards in society.

I don't think it's a good thing though, I think sometimes it can get in the way of people doing the "right" thing. But unless we have a complet social re-invention type of thing, it's not going to be able to change.

I think that thinking/knowing this, and my depression, are interlinked somehow. I'm not sure which is the cause and which is the effect though! In a typically blissfully ignorant way, I'm not sure I'd want to know for sure either way.



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Old 07-05-2008, 11:47 AM   #13
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I'm begining to think there's three categorys, the optimistic ones who see it through 'rose-tinted glass,' and believe they are the most important person in their life, the realistic ones who realise themselves and live as just 1 person in 6 billion people and then the pesimistics who see themselves all so unimportant because the reflect too much on reality and can't prioritise themselves in their own lifes?

If that made sence?



So Kill me with the love you never gave...
Scarlet tissues and empty pill packs,
she lay there motionless, theres no going back.....




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Old 07-05-2008, 07:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crumple... View Post
You think yourself better than someone who hasn't suffered a mental illness? Surely that's seeing things through and inflated self image?
In reality, suffering a mental illness doesn't make you automatically see the world in it's true form, infact the vast majority of the time a mental illness blurs what is true reality. Especially with depression.
It's such a selfish illness, it causes you to think only about yourself and what you are doing, and what you can and can't do and what bad things might've happened because of you.

Which is why I think mental illness doesn't play a part in seeing things clearly. Having your head screwed on does.

And sorry if any of that sounded at all mean or harsh, I'm just making conversation >_<
No, not all. I'm agreeing with you. Read above I agree, depressive realism is delusional almost. But I'm admitting here, I'm very capable of believing in depressive realism especially when I'm having an episode. It has been a real hurdle in my recovery.

Depressive realism=bad.



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Old 07-05-2008, 08:53 PM   #15
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This was discussed in my psychology class, i tend to agree im not depressed i just see the world more accurately than others
But everyone sees the world differently. If everyone saw the world in the same way, it'd be pretty crap and boring.

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Old 07-05-2008, 08:59 PM   #16
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I think it's true because people that arent depressed or been through stuff think the worlds perfect, I mean I've been told I'm a pessimist but I'm just thinking of what will most probably happen, its better than being let down in my point of view...xx
I mean if u have high expectations they are more than likely not to come true in my case, but the lower the excpectation, the higher you will achieve and be more surprised! sorry if that made no sense lol :-P
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
People without depression are more likely to have inflated self-images
Or to sum up in one word: CONFIDENCE

so yes, I do agree with Depressive Realism.

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Old 08-05-2008, 02:29 AM   #18
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^^^
Not all people who are mentally well are confident. And not all depressed people are shy.



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