Do depressed people subscribe to a gloomy version of reality?

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Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Though there are different kinds of depression that can be brought on by different triggers, and may exhibit different symptoms, depressed minds do have similar qualities. Most of us tend to think that depressed people have murky brains, can't think straight, that they're not able to put life's ups and downs in perspective. Yet the opposite is true. Depressed people see the world extremely clearly (and accurately for them). They have a very crisp perception of reality, which is why they often feel down - because they see life's toughest moments so vividly. Because of their hypersensitivity, depressed people are often quite creative. Lots of musicians, artists (Hemingway, for example), and some very productive statesmen (Abe Lincoln) thrived between episodes of depression.
Another silver lining in all this? There can actually be a survival benefit to depression, in that it gives individuals the self-awareness to know their limitations and not take certain risks - the old idea of knowing when to hold 'em and knowing when to fold 'em.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.