chapter  5
28 Pages

Cognitive and life stress approaches to depression

Sarah's reveries are typical of those of depressed people: a relentless focus on the negative aspects of herself, the world, and her future. Such thoughts are usually exaggerations or misperceptions of reality, but invariably they leave the person feeling overwhelmed and hopeless, accentuating or prolonging the symptoms of his or her depression. Many theorists argue that such negative thinking is not only part of the syndrome of depression, but may indeed reveal a vulnerability to develop depression or to experience recurrencesÐto the extent that such negativity of thinking is part of the person's typical way of perceiving the self and the world. In this chapter several of these models that emphasize primarily cognitive causes of depression are reviewed and evaluated.