Depressive personality type: who sees life in black?

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Depressive personality type: who sees life in black?

“There is nothing to rejoice here”, “No matter how hard you try, nothing will come out anyway”, “I, as always, have not been up to par” … Psychotherapist Christoph Andre talks about people with a pessimistic outlook on life and how to live nearby with them.

A depressive person is almost always pessimistic. Whether it is a family, work, or something else, he thinks primarily about possible troubles. Usually his mood is more gloomy, as evidenced by the expression on his face, sad and preoccupied.

He rarely feels pleasure, does not look for pleasant activities, partly because nothing seems to him like that. He often feels guilty and clearly underestimates himself. It seems to such people that life is difficult, everything requires effort and causes suffering. And this feeling of one’s own weakness and vulnerability prevents one from achieving success in the profession.

Either the slightest effort scares them away, or the reason is a pessimistic mood (“nothing good will come of it anyway”), or they have completely forgotten what it means to experience pleasure. If you invite them to go somewhere, they will likely prefer to stay home. They do not like society, and other people’s companies tire them. Perhaps because they themselves consider themselves uninteresting interlocutors.

This is not to say that these traits are typical of all depressed individuals. Many of them are very conscientious, work hard, try to do everything as best as possible, take care of their professional or family environment. But be that as it may, such people have:

  • a negative look at oneself: “I am not up to par”;
  • negative worldview: “The world is cruel and unfair”;
  • negative outlook: “I and my loved ones are in trouble”;

This triple negative view was called the depressive triad. It is also observed not only in depressed individuals, but also in people who are depressed.

How is a depressive personality type formed

It is proved that heredity plays a decisive role in the emergence and formation of a depressed personality. If we sort through all the relatives of such a person, we find that some of them suffered from depression. But no less important is upbringing. The image of parents, constantly tired, anxious, not allowing themselves the slightest joys, can become a model that the child will unconsciously repeat.

Some traditional types of education, when clearly unattainable ideals of perfection are imposed on children, can develop a feeling of inferiority and guilt. A negative self-image increases the risk of the formation of a depressed personality, especially if the child is biologically predisposed to this.

Many people think that understanding and understanding the situation means improving it, but it’s not.

“I think I was raised in the belief that I did not deserve happiness. Father worked from dawn to dawn and did not allow himself a single minute of rest. My brothers and I received a very strict Christian upbringing. Moreover, the emphasis has always been on the dark side: we are sinners, we must always remind ourselves that Christ gave his life to atone for our sins.

It really worked for me – impressionable and insecure. Until now, I seek first and foremost my own guilt, often reproach myself with selfishness (the fact that I am an egoist was constantly asserted by my mother). It’s hard for me to ask for something, much less to demand, as if to defend my own view or my own interests is really “selfish”.

Now I am much happier than before, but this does not solve all the problems. When something good happens and I rejoice, then there is a feeling of imminent catastrophe, as if for every minute of happiness I should be “punished” by misfortune, ”Thibault recalls.

How to help yourself?

Many people think that understanding and understanding the situation means improving it, but alas, this is far from the case. Many depressed individuals endlessly “chew” the causes of their condition, but cannot get out of it. Realizing something is good, but not enough. In addition, there are reasons why depressed individuals do not want to seek help.

1. They do not consider their condition as a disease, they think that it is all about their character.

2. As long as they manage to cope with their duties, they see no need to seek outside help.

3. They believe in willpower. Of course, they feel bad, but they think that if they can show their will, “shake themselves”, they will feel better. Others often share this opinion and do not skimp on such advice.

4. They believe that their case is special and that talking to a specialist is useless.

5. Unbelieving in medicines, they do not see the need for them.

6. They are so used to feeling bad that they don’t even imagine what it means to feel good, and therefore they cannot even want it.

7. They manage to increase their self-esteem by convincing themselves that they endure the hardships of life.

8. Sometimes their problems give them advantages: for example, the sympathy of others or the ability to “put pressure” on children.

Depressive personality type: who sees life in black?

How to behave with a depressed personality

What do we have to do

1. Draw their attention to the positive aspects of the situation. For example, a friend received a responsible position and is confident that he will not cope. Perhaps you want to say: “You always see everything in the black light! Stop complaining! ” But this will not lead to anything good. He will have the impression that no one understands him and does not want to understand him, and this will only aggravate his depressing outlook on life.

It is better to try, without denying his fears and beliefs, to recall the positive aspects, and do it in the form of questions. “Of course, it will be difficult, but it is interesting, right?” Do not talk sharply and energetically with a depressed person, try to find and give examples from the past when he was pessimistic, but, nevertheless, everything was resolved safely.

2. Engage them in enjoyable activities compatible with their capabilities.

3. They often reject everything that can please them. There are many reasons, and they are related: fatigue, poor health, fear of not being up to par, guilt (“I have no right to pleasure”) and most importantly, the belief that the situation will certainly not be in their favor.

In dealing with such people, two extremes must be avoided. On the one hand, they should not be fully provided to them themselves – “let them try if they want.” On the other hand, do not impose on them what is higher than their strength. So you only strengthen their belief in their own failure.

What not to do

1. Advise to “shake oneself.” “Get a hold of yourself!” “Whoever wants, he can!” As a rule, others willingly give such advice, but they are useless. Even if a depressed person tries to follow them, he will feel misunderstood, rejected and restrained.

2. Read them morals. “Where is your will?” “Look at me, I keep myself in control all the time!” Such statements are also not uncommon. But neither moralizing nor accusatory tone will help. This is the same as reproaching the nearsighted that he does not see well, or the person who has twisted his leg, that he is limping. Many depressed individuals already live with a constant sense of guilt, there is no need to strengthen it.

3. Give in to their mood. Beside them, so sad and preoccupied, we also become sad or have a vague sense of guilt that we cannot share their pain. Merging with them together will not help, as well as an attempt to stir them up. Respect your desire for freedom and joy, even if dealing with a depressed person sometimes makes you forget about it.

Three caveats

1. If this is your boss, regularly check if everything is good at work.

2. If this is your employee, praise him more often.

3. If this is your partner, let him (her) read this article.

The material was prepared according to the book by F. Lelor, C. Andre “Is he a schizophrenic?! .. How to communicate with difficult people” (Generation, 2007).
Text: Elena Shevchenko
Photo Source: Getty images

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