AS@W Antidepressant Skills at Work: Dealing with Mood Problems in the Workplace
Antidepressant Skills
Realistic Thinking

When people are depressed they often have a negative and distorted way of thinking. This depressive thinking feeds into depressed mood.

Depressive thinking is unrealistic and unfair because it involves:

  • unrealistic negative thoughts about your situation;
  • unrealistic and unfair negative thoughts about yourself; and
  • unrealistic negative thoughts about your future.

The goal is to challenge depressive thinking and replace it with realistic thinking.

Realistic thinking is being:

  • accurate about your current situation (seeing things as they are);
  • fair about yourself (balanced view of the positive and negatives in your life); and
  • accurate about your future (not exaggerating the chance of bad outcomes and ignoring the chance of positive outcomes).

So what is the goal in dealing with depressive thinking? Is it to think positive thoughts all day long? Do we want to kid ourselves that nothing bad will ever happen? No. Overcoming depressive thinking does not mean replacing it with positively distorted thinking (“everyone loves me”, “nothing bad will ever happen”, “I will always get what I want”). The point is that thinking in an unrealistic way, whether positive or negative, causes us to feel and react inappropriately. The aim is to evaluate our lives and ourselves in a realistic manner.

Goal: Fair and realistic thinking.

So, how do you change depressive thinking? Here are the steps . . .

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