Irrational thoughts lead to depression?

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Eric, Sep 25, 2008.

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  1. Eric

    Eric Well-Known Member

    I was in Psyc class today and I was reading something that said that peoples' irrational thoughts lead to lower self-esteem and depression even.

    An example of an irrational thought would be the following: "I need love to survive" or "I can't live without my bf/gf." Irrational, if you ask me. You don't need love or a partner to live happily. You're FORCING yourself to believe that, but it truly isn't the case.

    "I should have a purpose in life" is another irrational thought. Who's to say you SHOULD have one? No one. You'll eventually find one. The fact that you haven't found your purpose yet is by no means a reason to kill yourself or feel down.

    People should get such irrational thoughts of their head and start thinking positively if they ever want to get better in life. You don't NEED a therapist to do this either. Studies have shown that around the same number of people have gotten over their problems on their own without a therapist's help. On a rather different note, people give up way too easily and are blinded by their own irrational thoughts. Some people don't SEE the light because they don't wanna see it (keyword: SOME).

    Any thoughts?
  2. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    I think they've got it backwards for the most part. We become irrationally pessimistic due to the depression. However, it is an aspect of therapy, that I've seen so far, to focus on the positive when it comes up. I think that the irrational pessimism becomes a major part of our functioning, but this is after the depression gave it to us.
  3. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member

    You realize you just contradicted yourself from one sentence to the next here? Or, to baldly state it: Please offer proof that "you'll eventually find" a "purpose in life." At age 44 I have yet to "find" any such thing, personally. Have you "found" yours yet?

    Nor is it any reason in particular to go on living or to feel good, as far as I can see.

    What about them is necessarily irrational? Some people can perhaps function quite well without companionship or love, others find loneliness a terrible burden. And I would posit more people fall into the latter category than into the former. Human beings are as a species social animals (unfortunately) not polar bears, coming together only to mate.

    I don't necessarily disagree with this, in the sense that there does seem to be a correlation, as documented by Martin E.P. Seligman, doubtless others. But it is also silly to think that humans change from "negative" to "positive" thoughts like flicking a lightswitch, either.

    Quite agree. Psychiatry is basically a religion, excluding the stuff based in physiology, possibly some experimental psychology. And all religion is nonsense. QED so is all psychiatry.

    Rather dogmatic, aren't you? How on earth do you know that giving up is not the appropriate, realistic response in some situations?

    Okay, sure. And others undertake as realistic an assessment of their current position and future prospects as they can, and decide to (say) commit suicide on that basis.

    Well, there's mine. :smile:
  4. JohnADreams

    JohnADreams Well-Known Member

    An irrationally high expecation of yourself can lead to low self esteem and depression, sure, but you cant dismiss people's opinions on what they feel they need in life.

    If I say that (X) doesnt make me happy and the lack of (Y) in my life makes me miserable, then who can say that I am wrong? I know my own thoughts and feelings better than anyone else. I know what makes me happy or sad. Now, I know it isnt healthy to think in such a way, and it would be much better to change those thought patterns, but they are not illogical. That is, not unless you count destructive thought patterns as automatically illogical.
  5. Random

    Random Well-Known Member

    I don't know. When you consider all the realities of life (including certain death after a lifetime of fighting to stay alive), optimism is rather irrational, isn't it?
  6. bleach

    bleach Well-Known Member

    If you're clever enough, and equipped with the right information, you can make nearly any position sound rational or irrational. It's all in how you interpret the information. Historians are a good example of this - you could read two books about the same event, both written by experts on the topic, both referring to the same sources, but both books draw completely opposite conclusions as to why the event happened the way it did. Who is right? The objective truth is unknowable. The same could be said for our life histories. You could claim that we are all masters of our destinies, or you could claim we are all pawns of forces beyond our control - and people have made both of these cases many times over - but there will never be a definitive 'most rational' answer. Only differing points of view.

    When it comes to the suicide question, I think it all stems from neurochemistry. Your brain is rigged to think either optimistically or pessimistically for whatever reason, and all your rationalizations work to confirm your emotions. With this in mind, I think a depressed person ought to try every drug available to retool their brain for happiness - because happiness will never seem rational until that change has been made on the chemical level.
  7. me1

    me1 Well-Known Member

    Yes, why did you emphasis the word 'see' if the keyword was 'some' ? :blink:
  8. Eric

    Eric Well-Known Member

    Beats me :D

    Also, I won't defend my positions since I don't really care about them, I wanted to see everyone elses' opinions. However, one thing.

    I never said it's simple (nor am I saying you claim I did, it just sounds like you're implying it). It's a process, a hard one even.
  9. HappyAZaClaM

    HappyAZaClaM Guest

    oh, Psycho Babble 101 ay? gee, why am I not surprised by this :)
  10. HappyAZaClaM

    HappyAZaClaM Guest

    well, doubtless you have read Dr. Albert Ellis and of the 'musterbation'
    concept. in theory, of course it makes sense. I think some persons are
    more 'rational' in the first place. so, they are going to grasp that sooner
    than others are.

    it may be true that anyone given the time and the patience can overcome
    adversity by means of rational emotive therapy. or whatever name another
    doctor might call it.

    there are varying theories on this. anyway, obviously "I need love to survive"
    or "I can't live without my bf/gf" are just examples to get the ball rolling
    so to speak. and both those things, even though simplistic are good

    what about an entertainer who develops stage fright? of course it is not
    rational. but becoming rational about it eventually, if ever, is going to
    be vastly different in terms of how much time and how well it sticks, again,
    to be redundant, with each individual person.

    I don't think it's possible to become all the way full blown fully self
    actualized Spock type rational for anyone. some people manage it pretty
    well, yes.
  11. HappyAZaClaM

    HappyAZaClaM Guest

    ok, right here. this is just one example. and quite obviously, i could not have "photoshopped" it or anything :)

    thoughts? yes. is there a word missing between THOUGHTS and OF? maybe a dangling chad or a concecrated partisickle?
    somethin missin there....*scratches head* it just me? or is that sort of the illiterate kettle calling the pot
    illiterate pot :) whatever. like i said in the other thread, no more of these soap dropping threads for Jethro here,
    and it was not a great idea to read previously ignored posts. I do have some more "Eric oldies but goodies" stored in my kumputur iffin ya wants ta see um! no? ok then. carry on..
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2008
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