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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Ibelema, MD

How Depression Impacts Perception, Outlook and Hope.

Depression is more than just feeling sad or experiencing occasional episodes of low mood. Depression a complex disorder that alters the way we perceive ourselves, others, and the world around us.

Similar to snap chat or social media filter, depression can alter our view of reality. Unfortunately, unlike a social media filter which may exaggerate reality in the confined space of social media, depression filters your perspective of the world. It can also negatively impact your self image, discolor your perception of life around you, and rob you of hope.

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Depression + Negative Cognitive Bias

Depression is associated with negative cognitive bias. This is where individuals may find it difficult to interpret events, situations, and interactions in a positive light. One may witness a neutral event, but interpret in a negative manner. You may have a balanced life, but may only be able to identify with the negative aspects of it. This negative bias then shapes your experience, because thoughts shape your behaviors reinforcing a cycle of pessimism and hopelessness. For someone living with depression, the world may seem overwhelmingly bleak.

Depression + Altered Self-Perception

One of the most profound impacts of depression is its effect on our self-perception. Individuals grappling with depression may experience a distorted view of themselves, feeling unworthy, inadequate, or undeserving of love and success.

The filtered lens of depression fractures the mirror of self-reflection, presenting us with distorted fragments that emphasize our flaws and diminish our value. This altered self-perception reinforces the negative cognitive bias and contributes to a diminished sense of self-worth.

Depression +Impacted Interpersonal Relationships

The filtered lens of depression extends its influence to interpersonal relationships. Individuals affected by depression may find it challenging to connect with others authentically. Social interactions can feel draining, and the depressed person might perceive themselves as burdensome or uninteresting to others. The constant self-doubt and negativity make it difficult to establish and maintain meaningful relationships, further perpetuating feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Depression +Hopelessness and Future Outlook

Hopelessness is a hallmark of depression, and it's a component that can rob individuals of their sense of agency and purpose. When struggling with depression you may feel like your life situation may never change, that no one can help, or that you will always feel depressed. The future may even appear bleak and devoid of meaning or possibilities.

Treatment and Recovery

Depression profoundly influences your perspective and outlook on life, casting a shadow over your thoughts, emotions, and relationships. Recognizing the impact of depression on our perspective and outlook is the first step towards healing. Seeking professional help, such as therapy and medication management, can provide invaluable support in restoring clarity to our mental lens. Therapy helps challenge negative cognitive distorions, develop coping strategies, and cultivate self-compassion. Medication, when appropriate, can alleviate some of the debilitating symptoms and facilitate the journey toward recovery.

If you are seeking support and guidance in navigating depression, contact us. Book your appointment today and take the first step towards reclaiming your mental health and embracing a brighter future.

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If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.


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