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Jul. 26th, 2001 | 08:23 pm
mood: momentarily optimistic

What an odd thought

I just started reading "Learned Optimism" by Martin Seligman. The basic premise is that being pessimistic makes one more likely to respond to a setback with depression. The more permanent, pervasive, and personal the reasoning about why the setback happened the stronger the reaction. In addition the more time spent ruminating about the reasons things went wrong the more severe the reaction.

So I took his pessimism test in his book and as suspected turned out to be rather pessimistic, in addition I will almost always obsess about what is wrong in great detail.

So now the odd thought, given than I seem to have been dealt a hand with one of the worst possible sets of psychological issues that don't actually involve inheritible brain dysfunction, I've done surprisingly well in my life.

So shh... don't tell anyone the following conclusion, it seems far too unbelievable. I must be an impressively competent person to have survived long standing severe depression, being transgendered, family rejection, and repeated loss of emotional support systems, and yet still ended up reasonably successful, having a rich intellectual life, and still believing that there is some hope for the future.

P.S. for those also suffering from long standing uni-polar depression, the references I've seen suggest that properly done cognitive therapy is as effective as anti-depressants at treating depression--With the added bonus of being permanent and having no side effects.

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Comments {2}

narcissus-alicious

was livejournal being weird to everyone? or just me?

from: nalicious
date: Jul. 29th, 2001 10:47 am (UTC)
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I couldn't get to any journals for a few days. Anyhooooo I have gotta say I pretty much agree with the book you were reading. I have a few friends that I just can't be around because they are so determined to be grumpy. EVERYTHING is horrible, no matter what.

From what you have said in this livejournal yeah, you can be a tad pessimistic, but all considered you are far from a superduperduper pessimistic person and good to be around. *sends you happy thoughts*

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Diane Trout

Re: was livejournal being weird to everyone? or just me?

from: alienghic
date: Jul. 30th, 2001 12:03 am (UTC)
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Alas I've b een busy frequently so I don't know if it was live journal or not.

And I thought I was really pessimistic. Maybe it's just mostly personally directed and so when I'm off thinking about other things I'm less likely to be negative. Or maybe I just forget to always be down and the occasional irrepressable cheer shows up.

*Diane pauses to appreciate the happy thoughts*

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