Psychological Self-Help

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Discouragement is simply the despair of wounded self-love.
-Francois De Fenelon
Treatment, according to this theory, involves uncovering the
sources of shame and recognizing the oppressing controls placed on
you by internal voices of shame, family rules, and cultural-gender
restrictions. Getting free may mean taking care of the hurt, scared
little boy/girl inside, and building your self-esteem (see the later
section on shame in this chapter and method #1 in chapter 14). 
Lacking self-control causes depression 
This explains why single women with little education and low
income are the most likely to be depressed; they lack support and
control over their lives. Also, dominated women report feeling they
have "lost themselves." They are in a relationship in which they have
lost the option of expressing their feelings openly, lost faith in their
own ideas, lost reliance on their abilities and skills, lost their self-
respect, and even lost their right to express anguish and despair (Jack,
1991). One can see why they must suppress their very being to keep
their last shred of "love." Somehow these suppressed parts of our
inner self must regain some control and learn to express themselves
Rehm (1977) said the lack of self-help skills, i.e. not knowing how
to get better, caused depressed people to over-emphasize the
negative, set too high standards, and give too little self-reinforcement.
Pyszczynski & Greenberg (1987) contended that depression is the
inability to avoid focusing on one's self. D'Zurilla & Nezu (1982)
claimed that poor interpersonal problem-solving skills cause
depression; the skills depressed people often lack are (a) the ability to
see alternative solutions, (b) the ability to develop detailed plans for
reaching a final goal, and (c) the ability to make decisions. A sense of
self-control is basic to these three skills. This way of viewing
depression expands beyond the helplessness theory, which focuses on
a pessimistic attitude; it emphasizes the importance of skills and
cognitive techniques, which increase our ways and means of self-
control as well as our optimism. 
This "explanation" of depression says much more than "take
responsibility and heal thyself." To all of us, whether we are now
depressed or not, it says that more research must be done. Miserable
people can't learn what they need to know if wise people and science
haven't uncovered the knowledge yet. It is a scientific necessity to
laboriously test the effectiveness of each promising anti-depressive
self-help method. There is already considerable evidence that some
self-control methods work, but there are thousands of ordinary,
everyday methods still to be tested with many different kinds of
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