Thursday, December 11, 2014
When we are not optimistic, but focus on the negative, it can lead to depression. Depression has a powerful impact on society.
About 200 million people worldwide are depressed.
It affects over 19 million Americans and costs over $70 billion in treatment, disability, and lost productivity each year.
One study included 817 patients assessed for depression the day prior to coronary artery bypass surgery, and then again six months later. It included follow-up for up to 12 years. What the researchers found was that the patients with moderate to severe depression prior to their surgery or six months after surgery had more than a two-fold higher risk of dying earlier than non-depressed patients.
Those who were depressed before surgery, but were able to get rid of the depression, were at no greater risk of dying early than those who were never depressed.3
Dr. Seligman wrote about the value of cognitive therapy in helping depression. The idea is to help people be more optimistic. It also prevents relapses into depression because the people acquire a skill that they can use again and again without relying on drugs or doctors.
"Drugs relieve depression, but only temporarily; unlike cognitive therapy, drugs fail to change the underlying pessimism which is the root of the problem."4
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