What is the depressive realism hypothesis?

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Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
According to Nassir Ghaemi, a professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and author of A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness, which examines the mental health of famous leaders, the depressive realism hypothesis argues that "[depressed people] are depressed because they see reality more clearly than other people do."

This may explain why one study showed that persons with a history of depressive symptoms usually score higher on tests for standard measures of empathy than a nondepressed cohort of college students. “This was the case even when patients were not currently depressed but had experienced depression in the past,” Ghaemi writes. “Depression seems to prepare the mind for a long-term habit of appreciating others' point of view.”
This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com

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