The Role of Irrational Beliefs on Depression and Anxiety
Feeling depressed? You can think yourself a way out.
Why depressive and anxiety disorders exist is much associated with irrational beliefs.
Irrational by definition is the state of being without or deprived of normal mental clarity or sound judgment. Our brain doesn’t always process things in a logical, sensical way, that’s also what makes us human. Sometimes we make ourselves believe things that are so ridiculous and absurd to be as real as an absolute fact. It’s very difficult to get out of these false mental states because we have already convinced ourselves those beliefs are true.
In Robert Bridges’ research review from Department of Psychology at Pennsylvania State University, published in Health 2010 vol.2 by Scientific Research Publishing
. His team reviewed large samples of measurable irrational belief tests and found a very close link between the degree of irrational thoughts to the degree of severity in depressive and anxiety disorders. Beliefs such as “I am worthless, nothing I do is good enough.” or “to be happy, I must maintain the approval of all the persons I consider significant.” are all considered irrational beliefs. Subjects’ agreeability to these statements is measured in scales. The results indicate a strong link between a depressed person’s negative interpretations of their experiences to their depressive states. As a result, the depressed subject is driven towards very dysfunctional behavioral responses as well.
Given the importance of irrational beliefs in etiology of these disorders, we must recognize that it’s more effective to train depressed people to change their way of thinking than it is to help them curb their negative emotional responses.