Psychological Self-Help

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5
ways to become depressed; thus, we will consider several explanations
of sadness (see index above). 
Since sadness may occur in many circumstances and arise via
several psychological processes, we will also consider how depression
develops in several common situations: during death or loss of a loved
one, when alone, when feeling low self-esteem, when pessimistic,
when having suicidal thoughts, when experiencing guilt and shame,
when feeling bored, tired, or without interests, and when there are no
obvious causes. Each depressive situation and each psychological
dynamic may require its own unique solution. 
After gaining some understanding of depression, self-help
approaches will be discussed by levels: 
1.
Behavior--increase pleasant activities, more rest and exercise,
thought stopping and reduction of worries, atoning for wrong-
doing, and others, 
2.
Emotions--desensitization of sadness to specific situations and
memories, venting anger and sadness, elation or relaxation
training, etc., 
3.
Skills--social skills training, decision-making, and self-control
training to reduce helplessness, 
4.
Cognition--more optimistic perceptions and attributions,
challenging depressing irrational ideas, a more positive self-
concept, more acceptance and tolerance, decide on values and
meaning, and 
5.
Unconscious factors--learn to recognize repressed feelings and
urges, understand sources of guilt, and read about depression. 
At the end of the chapter, you should be able to select the
techniques that seem most likely to reduce your sadness. Then,
following the steps outlined in chapter 2, you should be able to get in
control of these kinds of feelings. In general, self-confidence, an easy-
going disposition, and family support lead to a better recovery from
depression. 
History and Gender Factors in Depression
What experiences precede depression?
Does an unhappy adult have a history? You'd think so. Some
researchers say there is not a strong relationship between how happy
you were as a child or an adolescent and how happy you are as an
adult. Yet, keeping in mind that happiness and depression are
independent, Harrington (1990) followed up 80 children and
adolescents hospitalized for serious depression and found 60% became
depressed again before they were 30. Several childhood experiences
have been related to adult depression: (1) feeling guilty as a child (1/3
did) and (2) a strained relationship with the same-sexed parent,
especially if a divorce is involved, (3) a mother depressed enough that
she needs help caring for the children, and (4) dominant, over-
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