Habits of miserable people

English: Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth Presid...
English: Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States. Latviešu: Abrahams Linkolns, sešpadsmitais ASV prezidents. Српски / Srpski: Абрахам Линколн, шеснаести председник Сједињених Америчких Држава. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday I came across an article regarding habits of miserable people. while I know some people like this who are chronically mildly depressed I’m afraid this person would extend it to  the severely depressed. Here are a few quotes that summarize the authors thinking.

• When you’re miserable, people feel sorry for you. Not only that, they often feel obscurely guilty, as if your misery might somehow be their fault. This is good! There’s power in making other people feel guilty. The people who love you and those who depend on you will walk on eggshells to make sure that they don’t say or do anything that will increase your misery.

• When you’re miserable, since you have no hopes and expect nothing good to happen, you can’t be disappointed or disillusioned.

• Being miserable can give the impression that you’re a wise and worldly person, especially if you’re miserable not just about your life, but about society in general. You can project an aura of someone burdened by a form of profound, tragic, existential knowledge that happy, shallow people can’t possibly appreciate.

There are a couple of problems with this article if one extends her thinking to all types of depression. First of all Madanes could be accused of ” mind reading” by CBT therapists. She thinks she knows how all depressed people think. Ironically she has the same overly negative perception of depressed people that she is accusing them of. There are some depressed people who gain from being “depressed” however this isn’t necessarily true of most of them.(over generalizing) I personally have been treated quite negatively when depressed. Additionally she lumps all “depressed” people together when their depression could differ with regard to degree and source, some more biological and some more environmental.

There are many great people who are depressed, Churchill, Dostevsky and Lincoln. Lincoln was one outstanding example of a person who contributed much to society despite being quite miserable. I wonder how his life would have been different if he hadn’t been depressed.

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Treatment of insomnia also improves depression

Insomnia again
Insomnia again (Photo credit: Foodie In Disguise)

“The new report, from a team at Ryerson University in Toronto, found that 87 percent of patients who resolved their insomnia in four biweekly talk therapy sessions also saw their depression symptoms dissolve after eight weeks of treatment, either with an antidepressant drug or a placebo pill — almost twice the rate of those who could not shake their insomnia. Those numbers are in line with a previous pilot study of insomnia treatment at Stanford.”

“Dr. Carney acknowledged that the study was small — just 66 patients — and said a clearer picture should emerge as the other teams of scientists released their results.”

This study is interesting and shows promise however there is a considerable  percentage of depressed people who over sleep rather than suffer from insomnia. In my case I have experienced a combination of the two– insomnia at night and oversleeping during the day. Additionally, I noticed that if I went to bed earlier than usual I would be more likely to have insomnia. This latest theory doesn’t explain this.

Other problems with the study were that it was on the small side and the tools for measuring depression are questionable. They didn’t appear to use a test that was specific for depression but one that was specific to rumination and insomnia. Why not use the same test as other depression studies?