She used absolutes a lot. Things were "terrible" or "horrible". The house was "a disaster". It was never partly clean, or messy. It was either clean, or a disaster.
But the biggest issue was that her perception of the world, including her perception of what people were saying to her - what I was saying to her - was utterly skewed. Anything I said to her, she took in the worst possible light. A compliment that could be shaded negatively, was. If I told her I liked her dress, that was taken as my not liking her other clothes. If I told her I appreciated something she did, that was taken as my not liking anything else she did. Every once in a while I managed to figure out how to say something that was so clear that it couldn't be misinterpreted, and when that happened it was as if I were speaking Greek. The statement literally did not make any sense in her mind. It was fascinating to watch; there was actually a discernible lag as she processed, and figured out how to misinterpret, anything I said.
It was as if she had her own private version of English, with her own definitions, which were more black and white (and shaded towards the black) than the vernacular version everyone else spoke. In order to speak with her I had to become conversant in her version of the language.
After a while it really felt like she was gaslighting me. Anything I said or did, she took in the worst possible way, and then blamed me for it. It took an enormous amount of emotional fortitude to keep reminding myself that this was fundamentally not my fault. I feel tremendously lucky that I didn't become depressed myself.
Happily, she eventually did recognize that something was wrong and got help, and is tons better today. Bit what they say about depression is completely true: your mind is lying to you. I watched it happen. And the even more fascinating thing is that, although she now recognizes she was depressed, she still doesn't remember those times the way I do. Her memories are still skewed.
If you are suffering from depression, please seek help. And if you are in a relationship with someone suffering from depression, find emotional support. It isn't your fault.
An underrated piece of advice. Not to take at all away from what those with depression are suffering, but supporting a loved one with depression can be a tremendous task in itself, sometimes involving a lot of emotional abuse. Thanks for sharing.
As a new manager who came in to manage a new team, I was completely clueless about many of my team members' very personal emotional baggage (everyone had different stories, but the key point is that everyone often made very negative assumptions and interpretations). It would require immense effort to earn their trust, but I had no idea at first. By the time I realized this baggage existed, I was already the enemy, the horrible evil manager who just wanted to fire everyone at the first opportunity; the only reason I hadn't succeeded is because of insert-reason-here.
In that frame, if I were to suggest that someone seek help, I think it would only be taken as a significant attack and increase the conflict? It's taken me a few years to get to the point where my team no longer believes I'm trying to fire them. I've been able to understand that they've all had various traumas in their lives (it slips out when they're emotionally upset about things).
I'm glad that your wife was able to get better, and I hope that she'll continue to get better. I wonder if anyone has any suggestions for how to make the suggestion to seek help when you're the boss of the one who needs help. Because I'm certainly no psychiatrist.
Similarly, random strangers who need help, perhaps they just needed that one person to nudge them. But too scared of creating unnecessary drama instead of having a positive impact. I guess the only easy thing to do is try to be kind to people and let it go if it backfires. It's better to say it's not my job, or it's better to be the Good Samaritan?
It doesn't help that my EQ is quite low (though it's higher than it used to be at least).
What finally happened was that she recognized that her feelings towards our 2-year-old daughter weren't right. And, oddly enough, our dog. We had a fabulous, beautiful, well-trained Aussie, the best dog I've ever seen. My wife is a vet. When she started thinking of the child and the dog as both being problems in her life, that's when she recognized that she herself had changed for the worse, and realized she needed help.
There may be ways to go about intervening. Support groups with trained staff would probably be able to help. But I wasn't smart enough at the time to find one.
Also, remember that you're a manager, not a doctor and not a friend. Getting emotionally invested beyond your job role will hurt more than it will help. There is only so much of you to go around, and without proper training in handling this sort of problems you will run out of your own sanity in short order.
And you by the way seem very apt in considering other people's emotions. This dilemma you're posing would be hard on anyone to navigate.
Serious question, how did your team have that many people with these issues. I presume that presuming a standard distribution, every team would have certain number of people with certain mental health related issues, but if your team has more than others, then there must be some hiring heuristic which skewed things that way. Am I correct?
I am not sure what my next steps should be.
My brother, who is a minister, has a saying that helps: "If I didn't break it, it's not up to me to fix it." Your first job is to see to your own emotional health. You can't make another person's decisions for them.
"Now I miss you,
Now I want you,
But I can't have you,
Even when you're here"
Psychology has recently experienced a replication crisis. More than half of studies have failed to replicate, and those that have, have had lower effect sizes.
Also, remember that there are lots of factors in a person's immediate situation that affect how they act. You end up with a "curse of dimensionality" problem, where it's impossible to isolate a general cause that's not specific to a certain situation.
By the way, I'm not saying the result is wrong. I'm only urging caution. Don't just believe something because "A study says..." or "Scientists say..."
I noticed they did their study by comparing mental health forums to other types of forums. That's an awfully specific situation. Let's say I had cancer, and I were writing in a forum full of cancer sufferers, clearly I would use more first-person pronouns, because I'm the cancer sufferer.
It's not just psychological studies, it's a range of fields, from neuroscience to psychology to oncology. By a reading of that literature, you should be skeptical of most studies. In fact, if you were to caution someone about replicability, it might be just as accurate to frame it as "as a machine learning study, you should take its generalizability with a grain of salt given the specific data sources involved." Psychologists are the messengers; replicability studies are a natural offshoot of meta-analysis, which also has its modern origins in psychology.
Also, this study doesn't really claim any sort of causal anything. It's just reporting differences in language use. The primary application of something like this is screening. There are some implications about causal hypotheses (absolutist thinking is a classic target of cognitive-behavioral therapies, which do have a fair amount of experimental support), but this paper is pretty agnostic about that sort of thing.
I'm currently taking a data science course on Udemy and learning about chi squares, regression, and decision trees, but I'd love more information on best practices especially for experimental design.
I'm reading Anti-Fragile now. Can't off the top of my head give you advice on experiment design or statistics. [EDIT] It's more about designing systems that benefit from the unpredictability of the world, instead of building systems that are harmed by unpredictability. [EDIT] It's an important companion to his previous book, because it gives positive advice on how to make decisions in a world that isn't amenable to understanding because of complexity. It effectively gives positive advice, instead of just negative.
There's also SITG that I'd like to read. And there's a "Technical Incerto" which looks like a work-in-progress, but involves concrete statistics.
 He's also tweeting the contents of a new Data Science course he's teaching at NYU. Be warned that Taleb is a bit of an arsehole on Twitter.
It is not trivial to identify them. If it was then there would be no replication crisis. Avoiding is easy in theory: you need decide on math methods in advance. Generate random data before you start to gather real data, and write an R program to process this data. Test it, debug, and when you get real data just feed it to this program. Without changing the program. It is harder in practice though.
> understanding correlation vs causation
> I'd love more information on best practices especially for experimental design
I learnt it with experimental psychology. С. James Goodwin "Research in Psychology", there are some specific psychological topics covered (you might not be interested in ethics of psychological research), there are not a word about chi squares or other math methods you mentioned (data processing is out of the scope of the book), but there are a lot about different experimental setups, with a lot of examples. IIRC there is discussion of p-hacking too.
I believe this book is a good read to anyone interested in design of experimental and/or correlational research methods in general, not just for psychologists.
In some cases confounding variables are impossible to escape, and you simply have to accept the fact that the science is going to be dodgy at best. But this is not really one of those cases. There are trivial and practically free ways you could really try to test the hypothesis that depressed individuals use absolutes more often than non-depressed. For instance, why not give them a prompt and have them write a brief 300 word story? And even better you can secretly prompt the individuals in a given direction with what seems like a free-form prompt to try to further reduce confounding issues.
As an example, "Write a brief persuasive piece with the premise being that green is a more pleasant color than red." It seems open form, but it's not-so-secretly directing people in a broad but common direction to try to give you decent samples of speech where you continue to remove as many confounding variables as possible. Even better in my study design is that, similar to a twin study, it doesn't actually matter if your prompt would inherently nudge people towards using e.g. absolutes more often since you're comparing two individuals in the same 'environment.' What matters is not the absolute (har har) difference, but the relative difference. Suddenly you have an experimental situation where you're controlling for as much as you can outside of the behavior of the individuals themselves. And it would be an extremely cheap study that could even be done remotely.
From a reader's perspective and not a researcher's there are a million tell tale signs of p-hacking. The biggest one is studies, like this, that intentionally expose themselves to confounding variables. The average phrasal composition of new post topics on any non-general topic is going to radically differ between sites. Not controlling for that is not sloppy. It's far worse than sloppy since there is absolutely no way these researchers could not have been entirely aware of this confounding issue. It was an intentional choice and that deserves scrutiny. Given the current state of social sciences, I am no longer inclined to offer the benefit of the doubt.
Other tell tale signs tend to be large numbers of variables, particularly when they are overly specific. With a large enough set of data you can find some commonality between any group of people. So for instance take a set of e.g. rich individuals and a set of non-rich individuals. If you just start collecting random data that could in no possible way be causal you'll eventually find a subset that, for whatever reason, holds. People who were born on a Wednesday, went to a school with 5 letters in its first name, and have an 'E' in their last name are 92.3% more likely to be wealthy than those that don't! Of course the variables will never be so absurd which can make it sound like implying a possible causal relationship is not so absurd. Again taking this study they chose 19 specific words to be used as their selection of absolutes, down from an original choice of some 300. And their criteria, even in what they acknowledge, is something that deserves substantial scrutiny. The worst part is that in cases like this you're also left just trusting the author that at no point did their selection process involve 'peeking' at whether the words would 'prove' their hypothesis. And once again, I'm no longer inclined to offer the benefit of the doubt in studies of this sort.
And there are countless other signs. Another one, for instance, is seemingly odd exclusions/inclusions in the data. For instance throughout this post I've stated that the study only considered new topics on the forums. And that's true. They chose not to consider responses for no legitimate reason. They state it was done "in the interest of simplicity and interpretability" which not only makes absolutely no sense, but introduces yet another potential confounding variables. Responses and original topics are going to have starkly different word choices.
It's hard to generalize but maybe the easiest way is to remove good faith from the picture, in a way take it as your own little personal null hypothesis. Do the decisions and design taken within a study lend themselves towards (or away) from a connection with good faith - a study confident in its hypothesis and seeking to test it as stringently and rigorously as possible to try to ensure its integrity? Or do the decisions and design within a study seem to indicate individuals more interested in simply obtaining publishable data as is often a means to an end of survival in the current state of academia today? A study more geared towards softly 'prodding' a hypothesis in a way likely to yield something that can be published? In many cases the answer there is immediately evident.
Which raises the question: Is depression a symptom? The root "disease" being the inability to connect / feel connected to others?
I suppose futher studies might be able to track language (as a proxy) over time and shed light on correlation vs cause, etc.
Imagine that you're currently experiencing the worst headache you've ever had. Remember how focused you were on the pain and not much else? Now imagine that that headache is permanent and incurable. You might learn to regain some measure of normalcy but that internal pain is always there and demanding attention.
It seems reasonably likely that those unfortunate souls who suffer from chronic (physical) pain would also exhibit similar writing patterns for much the same reason.
Vitamin D does wonders.
Lack of vitamin D can cause depression but it does not “do wonders” for people suffering from depression.
Not everyone can say that.
And as it turns out, my experience about beautiful days is different from yours. I find it is quite easy not to feel good on a beautiful day. Doubly so if you feel too ugly to go outside, better about yourself when you can wear a jacket, if you are in a bad situation, stressed, sick, stuck, and so on.
Except in studies, where it is still inconclusive.
For general supplement research, I tend to look at:
But I would expect studies showing Vitamin D only effective in some cases of depression, just like Coffee is helpful in some cases of headaches. Depression seems much closer to being a symptom than to being a disease. So anything that fights a root cause of depression will only work for those people whose depression is caused by that specific root cause, and will have many people reporting it doesn't work for them at all.
No harm in taking it, given all the other health benefits. You have to take a ton of it before Vitamin D has harmful effects.
I think it's because it's easier to get anxious about oneself compared to anxious about someone else.
Want to imagine how it feels? Think like a tube with end point A and B forming a closed loop with amplifier between these points and negative thoughts are injected into this closed loop, they amplify each time they pass through the loop and after suddenly nothing makes sense.
No talk therapies, workout, yoga doesn't work in this case! I tried all these popular cures fo depression.
I don't have any underlying trauma or abuse, i am not poor (who is poor in tech?) with fulfilling life and my life doesn't suck! I've a boyfriend who takes care of me, listens to everything i say and supportive family yet i couldn't get myself out of it.
I've tried amphetamine, it works for me but i figured amphetamine works by reving up the supply of dopamine and Norepinephrine.
I was sucidal, i overdosed on Amphetamine and nearly died.
Back from the hospital, i realized using amphetamine is a shotgun approach to my issue.
Since the probability of two things happening, like Norepinephrine deficiency and Dopamine deficiency is less than probability of one of the happening.
I went forward with my best guess that I've NE deficiency and i started taking selective Pure norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (NERIs)
I managed to take enough dose to bridge the dificiency gap then using a spreadsheet, slowly lowered the doses over a span of 3 years in a hope that body would increase its own supply to normalize the level.
Now, i am no longer depressed.
This is after a depression lasting a decade. And local health authorities seem like they don't really wanna help you.
Medicine is sadly too focused about the average, if you fall off the side you'll have to walk the distance on your own. I think many (including me) have experienced that.
You can also email me for questions.
Full disclosure: I was a participant in one of the landmark studies on it: https://www.pnas.org/content/111/20/7379
part of the problem is determining this
Mage: my fantastical word for programmer or person who brings his ideas into reality (could also do wizard but mage sounds cooler).
Also something I've noticed when trying to meditate (just cleansing my mind, nothing fancy). You can stop thinking and in a few minutes you'll feel just a little upbeat feeling, maybe fun ideas.
It's a bit odd and paradoxical but your best choice is not to listen to your negative ideas..
"In time, come back when you have something good!"
> We predicted and found that anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation forums contained more absolutist words than control forums (ds > 3.14). Suicidal ideation forums also contained more absolutist words than anxiety and depression forums (ds > 1.71).
I have no knowledge of this field of research, but I'm trouble understanding why its a significant result that self-oriented forums (like "anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation forums") have more self-oriented words and absolutist words than the control forums (of which 'MumsNet' and 'StudentRoom' are mentioned in the article). In the case of 'MumsNet' at least, you'd almost certainly have a prevalence of second person pronouns.
The selection you quoted focuses on absolute language eg always, never. But the comparison you’re making is on pronoun choice eg I, you, they.
You do mention absolutist words but the selection you quoted doesn’t mention pronouns so your critique shouldn’t either.
I'd hope the buyers would be healthcare professionals-- but like you've noted the real markets might be a bit more unpleasant...
If the tests do turn up any issues the treatment depends specifically on what the issues are.
And of course one's gut bacteria culture heavily depends on what one eats.
This is an article about a different approach to detect/diagnose depression, and the first comment reads a lot like “this weird trick I used to beat depression”.
The “Not meaning to demean anyone's hard work with psychology, but” really doesn’t help. They found a way to beat their depression, what does it have to do with other people’s hard work in psychology ?
Of course, there are more factors to depression beyond just language. Your body's internal chemistry is also going to factor in.
You say cutting carbs and fibers from your diet helped you. It might help some other people as well. For yet another group of people with depression, such a change might not help at all.
There's no magic solution and there are many, many possible causes for why a person is suffering from depression.
With the proper knowledge, it's relatively easy to identify diet deficiencies (e.g. low iron, calcium, or vitamin D levels) but it can be a lot harder to pinpoint excess as the body generally does a good job ridding itself of too much of something.
Effects of diets can also take years and years to study. Look at Keto. Lots of people are claiming to see great results from it. I've tried it myself and have seen the positive effects.
The problem is nobody knows what the long term effects of Keto will be. They look great in the short-term, like "curing" diabetes, but the long term results aren't so clear. There's a chance that a Keto diet (or any diet) could be placing significant unseen stress on the body.
If you haven't been tested, you should have your doctor get you the blood test since knowing for sure may point to other things (e.g. beer) that you should stay away from and may inform other medical decisions.
Caloric restriction reduces inflammation, and chronic inflammation is a big problem in the first world.
No? I still eat the same amount of calories (~3000 calories a day, I'm a male who works put regularly). There are more than enough non-carb sources to get calories from (lean meats (chicken breast, turkey breast, pork), sea food, avocado, nuts)
Sure, I just meant that most people are too quick to attribute causation when they notice a correlation. Sounds like you track your calories, so that could rule out caloric restriction.
The composition of the elimination diet almost certainly has nothing to do with the resolution of symptoms, just the feeling of being in complete control. We know that people report a wide range of foods as "bad," and one person's "bad" foods are another person's "good" foods, so any particular suggestions are going to be useless. Its been my observation its entirely about perception, not anything to do with the foods they consider "bad," most people I know with extreme diets that have cured all sorts of illnesses actually eat foods that are on their "bad" list because they don't realize it can fit into their "bad" category.
i think a lot of this kind of diet related advice is anecdotal and very person-specific. we should absolutely ask people to experiment with their diet more, but depending on the extent of their depression and the amount of flexibility they have in their lives (someone who works two jobs a day might find it difficult to find the energy to change their cooking/eating habits), this could be quite difficult for them
and its totally possible that a significant fraction (possibly even the majority) of people suffering from depression will see no major benefits to changing their diets.
100g strawberries carbohydrate 8g (basically the rest of the weight is water)
These are hardly "not eating carbohydrates".
Also, considering any product of modern agriculture "paleolithic" is inaccurate. The almonds and strawberries differ greatly from the wild varieties available to primitive hunter-gatherers - largely because they have drastically increased carbohydrates - but even the chickens/turkeys/cows producing meat and eggs are very different from undomesticated animals.
Even kale and broccoli didn't exist before about 4000 years go.
Also, WHICH Paleolithic people? I must imagine that those people ate varied diets that were contingent on their locality. People on the tundra would maybe not be eating so many nuts.
Encouraging people to construct their diet by imagining the past is a useless exercise.
Does that help?
Or any fruits or vegetables you can buy in any modern restaurants or stores.
Or meat from any domesticated animal.
Not sure that helps, frankly.
Even if there was, the foods that existed in Paleolithic times no longer exist due to both natural genetic changes combined with selective breeding.
Changing a diet seems like a hard thing to do while you are suffering from depression.
It's amazing what people go and achieve when they don't know it's impossible...
Keep in mind that general semantics is mostly pseudoscience, or at least ont the fringe.
I don't know what to think about the mental factors. For me they seem to mostly be symptoms of a bad physical state.
Some approach to both worlds is needed: Also I needed that the absurdly negative voices in my head would shut up, when I was trying to sleep. Some of that was just healing over time, I think.
-- Thich Nhat Hanh
Just find yourself a trainer who has a similar propensity for metaphysics as you (which can range from 0 to all-in-new-age) since the field has diverged into various interpretations.
I believe this is more of a symptom of excessive isolating behavior (an arguable cause of depression) than it is a predisposition towards selfishness.
"Be impeccable with your words."
The words manifest into thoughts which turn into physical form. The book described words are akin to black magic.
However, we don’t know whether these findings reflect differences in attention or thinking style. Does depression cause people to focus on themselves, or do people who focus on themselves get symptoms of depression?
My belief based on first-hand experience is that social factors drive some people to this.
I'm very socially observant. I've apparently been casually announcing that the emperor has no clothes since I was about three years old. I often don't realize I know someone's "secrets" that they imagine they have covered up very successfully. When I casually remark on such things, it gets me hated on. No, I will never ever ever ever be forgiven for it.
So, over the years, I have gradually worked at saying less about other people because it's such a mine field. Talking about me and only me as much as I can convinces other people I'm a narcissist, but it's less problematic than me casually asking "The emperor? You mean the deluded naked guy whose delusions everyone is feeding by going along with his bullshit claim that he has some amazing new wardrobe? Is that the guy we're talking about?"
This is backed up by data. I mean, the fact that I only talk about me and everyone hates me for it -- or, more accurately, everyone hates me and identifying this habit is one of the excuses they use to justify it. When I was on Metafilter, if you checked their infodump, I used "I" vastly more than any runner up. And I was hated on, which was just a thing Metafilter chose to do to certain people because the site has serious issues. When I joined, it was policy for the mods to pin the drama on one person, blame them, tell them you shut up and stop commenting and then let other people continue attacking them under circumstances where they would get in trouble if they came back to defend themselves. I quickly got on the short list of people where public bear downs by multiple people were not only the norm, God help you if you tried to defend them because that could mean you're next.
Depression is often a female issue and, on average, woman tend to be (perceived as) more social. We get tasked with doing emotional labor and get dismissed a lot and can't make as much money for the same job, etc. It's a very crazy-making situation and it's common for therapists to offer women medication instead of advice on how to stop being victimized.
I think most men don't really mean to victimize women, so it goes bad places when women point fingers and blame men who are part of the problem. They feel wrongfully accused. Doing so just makes the problem more intractable.
But trying to find the right words before you can speak to the problem winds up being a silencing mechanism. It makes it extra hard to try to solve it at all.
When every door slams shut in your face no matter what you do, it's hard to not start thinking in absolutist terms of "always" and "never."
Even so, I think the absolutist terms are more likely linked to wonky brain chemistry.
I have a medical condition. On bad days when I'm feverish, etc, I engage in more absolutist language and I'm not rational.
My sons have learned to "not engage the crazy." I say something extreme and irrational, they say "Mom, are you hungry? Are you thirsty? Are you warm enough?"
Most of the time, when I'm irrational, getting me fed, hydrated and warm results in me falling asleep in short order. Trying to argue with me about crazy stuff I'm saying just puts out the fire with gasoline. Insisting on only engaging me constructively is more effective.
They do sometimes rebut my irrational remarks, but they don't get dragged into arguing it with me. I say "I have no friends" they say "That's not true." They rebut it,but they dont get tired in it.
That seems to be a best practice that helps keep me grounded in reality without pissing me off, fueling a sense of hopelessness and despair, etc.
Getting healthier and making my life work better has proven to be the best solution. My mental health has gradually improved.
I still have days when the bullshit in the world that makes it seemingly impossible for a woman to get anywhere just makes me postal. I'm there right now. The past few days have been terrible in terms of my head space.
But most of the time, I'm overall more rational.
Most depressed people have serious intractable personal problems that no one knows how to solve. Medicating their feelings ends up de facto being dismissive.
Think of it like if Susan B Anthony were put on Valium and told "Women don't need the vote. You're merely crazy. Here, take this. You'll feel better." No, that's not going to figure the myriad problems that grow out of being disenfranchised and disempowered and having no real say in your own life.
I think social factors fuel the use of first person pronouns. I think social factors and brain chemistry fuel the use of absolutist terminology.
Both get better when the social factors driving it improve. The second seems to also be helped by addressing physiological factors, like exhaustion.