Depressive Realism

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brat17

MyPTSD Pro
I recently read an article about "Depressive Realism"- a theory that people suffering from depression may actually have a more realistic view than non depressed persons. However, non depressed people tend to have rose colored lens's which produces more positive thoughts and better immune system and health. Those with depression have negative thoughts that also perpetuates the cycle of depression.

Most intriguing to me is the fact that depressed people are more accurate in estimating things they can not control which makes them less inclined to take risks and invest time, but also lowers their expectations and eliminating many disappointments. (like a protective measure)

I sure would like to not suffer depression, but I also think how annoying I must have been to depressed people when I attempted to show them examples of good outcomes and encourage them in ways that they may have known better than I.

Before depression, I had what were actually some trauma situations that I attributed my own bad decisions to, making it harder to let go of. The alternative would have been to see just how many dangerous people there are in the world-which is how I see it now. My views are now likely more accurate than before and that is kind of scary.

There are many articles on this topic that have been written over decades of time, including some studies. I just wonder if others have given this topic much thought and what your thoughts are.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
Very interesting! I have chronic depression. Even remember as a young child being able to 'sense' danger. As I got older just thought it was from being hypervigilant.
I know I am an Empath and most empathy I know are chronically depressed.
We have to learn to shut off or shut down parts of us so as to not be constantly on overload.
Very interesting topic. Sort of like which came first...the chicken or the egg??
Will be interesting to see what others share.
 

She Cat

Policy Enforcement
I have always called myself a "realist" even though people have called me depressed. Ok, I suffer from depression from time to time, but not 24/7/52 I tend to call things as I see them. I don't add to it, or subtract from it. It is what it is. I think people that are not depressed tend to, IMO, make things seem better than they really are. I can't stand that!!!!!
As @ladee has pointed out, I too can seem to "sense" danger, unhealthyness, etc, etc. I seem to see it better for others though, and not so much for myself. UGH!!!!!!
 
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ladee

MyPTSD Pro
@She Cat , I have always felt it for myself....but have been slow to learn how to dodge some of the bullets so to speak.
Possibly some of it was and is...learned unworthyness.
Does that make sense? You know how long it has taken me to get to good choices about my son.
I work on it tho. Always trying to find balance.
 

brat17

MyPTSD Pro
I have always thought of myself as a "realist" too, even before the depression. I can remember being out to dinner with friends at a neighborhood restaurant and telling them not to leave drinks unattended (due to training for victims) and being told that this just does not happen here. Well it did and it does, and I was not depressed at that time. It was my reality given my background. Call it hypervigilent like ladee said, but does it really come from depression, or something else.

SheCat I can't stand it either when others try to make things appear better than they are. I can't stand the white elephant in the room-lets just acknowledge it.

Now that I am depressed, it is maybe magnified, but I suspect that I was wired with some of that depressive reality and attempted to extinquish it in my life. My positive attitude annoyed the hell out of my sister, maybe my kids too.

I am curious what psychiatrists think about this? I wish I had one to discuss this with. I gave up anti depressants and am doing better on many levels, though still depressed. We are so determined to fix things/people, that we medicate. If it is necessary that is great, but what if this is just what it is. I would like to know what these professionals would have to say about this topic given the studies that the depressed people are much more reality based in many areas, such as their own ability for success-(job, partner, family, etc). Studies show that non depressed people are often over confident of their abilities, where depressed people are more accurate of their abilities. I think of all the stuff we have been verbally fed, make lemonade out of lemons, find the silver lining, and other little cliches that are really annoying. Some things just SUCK!

After 10 yrs on meds, the depression did not improve. It actually felt like a fight within my brain between my reality and the chemical attempts for change. (confusion, apprehension, half hearted attempts at things, doubt, questioning). I am more clear for myself with the acceptance of my reality.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
Yes! HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY people annoy the shit out of me.
You know on those days you just want to bitch because you can....there will always be someone that says....it could be worse.
Finger down my throat to that one!
I want to make them set and listen to my story. Four times! Just to make sure they got it!
Then tell them why it would not be in their best interest to ever say that to me again...then they can go to a T and tell them someone with PTSD gave them PTSD!
:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:
 

brat17

MyPTSD Pro
ladee-I love your posts.

jordash-what if you are right? What if about half of us just see the world as the shithole that it really is?

Sometimes it feels like choices are the lesser of two evils. What the hell kind of set up is that to make a good choice.
 

Friday

Moderator
I'm far more realistic when I'm not depressed.

That is, unless each of you thinks that you really deserve to die screaming? Because I really just DGAF. Let the world burn. If all the police didn't bother showing up for work, the firefighters quit responding, the EMTs just let people bleed out because who f*cking cares, non of this shit matters... the doctors went home, the teachers quit teaching, the farmers let the crops die in their fields, the actors & musicians all shot themselves, the painters quit painting, the shops all closed, the water quit running, power lines & stations never repaired, the animals quit being fed, the parents let their kids die of neglect, the planes all fell out of the sky from mechanical failure, or sat in rusting heaps as no one f*cking bothered to see a reason to go anywhere, much less to work to fly them, bodies piled up, animals packed up, the whole dang machine just grinding to a halt...

Nah. Depression lies. Shit does matter. And most people ain't evil.
 
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brat17

MyPTSD Pro
If they all quit doing what they do Friday....I get your point...however...how many cops are in cruiser depressed, how many teachers are depressed, and farmers and EMTs and musicians...Seriously, how long was Robin Williams depressed and how long did you know he was depressed before his death? Depressed people work, they function, they live, are not all suicidal. They babysit, teach, work in plants, are therapist, Drs., and just about anything else. They don't wear rosey glasses though...they may believe-this is as good as it gets! And Be Right!
 

brat17

MyPTSD Pro
@Jordash-I had to think about radical acceptance some more before really being able to respond to what you said in your last post.
Radical acceptance does not mean that you like the way things are, or that there is not injustices or evils, just that we accept what we are unable to change (if that choice), which often we do not-and this keeps us suffering. When we do not have ability to change circumstance, we accept them on life's terms.

Presumably, everything that happens is suppose to happen-even though we don't like it. I think that is what is so hard to swallow-that so much pain could be prevented so much of the time, though not always.

I have not accepted the results of an accident that could have been prevented it a big chain store were not so greedy. But they were. I did not accept the changes and damages to myself, I did not utilize radical acceptance and avoided it at all costs. The costs were great....denial, abusing alcohol, avoidance, bad decisions, being assaulted, full blown ptsd. Looking back, life would have been much easier had I accepted my changed self 10 yrs ago. I think it is human to want to find fault/blame (on a continuum or to a degree). I just said "if the big chain were not so greedy" but it was still an accident and accidents do happen when nobody is at fault. There are natural disasters. The more negligent or malice another human is toward us, the more we tend to fight the acceptance (in my opinion only).

What is really the difference between acceptance and "depressive realism". I use humor as a coping mechanism which is pretty healthy, though in some instances I just can't muster up anything but "depressive realism".
Within my family, a group of kids that have been neglected and abused in many areas. Includes a 20 yr old boy in regional jail for selling drugs, his 18 yr old sister who is mentally challenged and has been a prostitute for couple years, and 14 yr old sister who just got out of rehab for using drugs. I could see where these kids were headed several years ago, put some optimists suggested that I take custody of all 3 of them. The "depressive realist" in me could see a future that was much more than my abilities. While nobody could predict the exact outcome at any point in time....probably not good, but consequences are not a real shocker. Hard being an empath.


Much to think about and I wonder how others see this or if you all see a correlation here.
 
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