Tag Archives: Depression

What made me so happy?

What question teaches us more: “What went wrong?” or “What went right?” “What the hell happened there?” is a question I often find myself asking when the golf ball I just hit goes sailing off into the forest. More often than not I just scratch my head and really have no idea. On the other [...]

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The judge, jury and witnesses were all paid off

Prejudice is easy to detect in others. It’s much harder to see in ourselves. This is because our attitudes just seem to fit our observations, or perhaps more accurately, our observations happen to fit our attitudes. Of course, trying to figure out whether experience feeds attitudes or attitudes feed experience may be a chicken and [...]

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Am I smart or just lucky?

We are constantly facing new challenges. Yet while some of us seem to be better at dealing with them than others, skill and intelligence are not the only qualities that set people apart. Two people with the exact same abilities will have radically different experiences when facing new challenges based on their attributional style and [...]

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Standards of happiness

Is there a secret to happiness? Well, I can’t say for sure but if you like to get your psychology from pithy aphorisms there are plenty of secrets out there. One secret to happiness that recently came to my attention was the following: Lower Your Standards! The psychologist in me says YES! I cannot think [...]

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Distorted self-perceptions

As a psychologist, I sometimes joke that most clients fall into one of two broad categories. The first group (the majority) are those that think very little of themselves. For these people, my job is to try to convince them they are not as bad as they believe. Then there are the rest, the ones [...]

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My life and my brain

OK, so my good friend, and fellow Douglas Institute blogger, Joe Rochford (The Rochford Files), has decided to write about some of the discussions we have had in the past. It seems that in between conversations about Bob Dylan, particle physics, and unpleasant bodily functions, we occasionally touched on questions of mental illness (what are [...]

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The Power of Positive Thinking?

We are always told to think positively. I couldn’t agree more. Despite an occasional tendency to complain, I consider myself to be an optimist in general. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to think positively. Many people believe that saying positive things to themselves is the answer. If only life was that simple. In last [...]

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Depression and self-confirming negative biases

In today’s Metro column, I tell a story of how depressed people, or those who tend to think poorly of themselves, are always finding proof for their beliefs.The idea of a negative schema (a strongly held belief, or what is often called a “core” belief) is important in the treatment of depression. In cognitive therapy [...]

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Depression and Burnout

The Douglas Institute Foundation recently ran a public education and fundraising campaign. One of the topics it chose was “Burnout.”It seems that everyone has a different idea about what burnout is and most people confuse it with depression (and with good reason because “Burnout” is not a well-defined term). In order to help shed some [...]