Daniel Miller

The Depression Thing

the depression thing

The answer, oh perpetually cheery friend of mine who probably couldn’t be able to pick out the definition of depression out of the dictionary if I pointed to it, is that goddamn, depression is hard.

Not depressed? Cool, I’m happy for you; I truly am. But you know someone who is. In fact, you know a lot of people who are. And once you include people coping with mental disorders, you realize that goddamn, there are a lot of people who could be better off if they could get help.

But still, I obviously think it’s worth talking about. People act so weirdly when it comes to this stuff, precisely because we don’t talk about it, even today, in 2017. Fuck flying cars and laser guns, I want transparent discussion of mental problems in society.

One of the weird things I realized throughout this whole process is how different people react with this. Some friends truly get it, and are fantastic resources for you to talk to. Some just don’t.

Extremely Positive People Aren’t as Good at Empathy

People with extremely sunny attitudes find it difficult to empathize with people who are recounting a negative experience, according to a study recently published at PLOS ONE. Ironically, positive people also reported being better at empathizing than did people who labelled themselves as slightly less than bubbly.

The study:

Not As Good as You Think? Trait Positive Emotion Is Associated with Increased Self-Reported Empathy but Decreased Empathic Performance

A contrasting empathy attenuation hypothesis suggests positive emotion would be associated with lower empathy, because positive emotion promotes self-focused or antisocial behaviors.

…these findings suggest that trait positive emotion engenders a compelling subjective-objective gap regarding its association with empathy, in being related to a heightened perception of empathic tendencies, despite being linked to mixed abilities in regards to empathic performance.

328 words