Depressed Beings have Abstract Goals

By  , Agency News
Jul 10, 2013

Depressed boy sittingThe depressed human lot has been found to be setting abstract goals that are quite difficult to achieve, this is according to a new study.

Dr. Joanne Dickson from the University of Liverpool, Institute of Psychology, Health and Society has analysed the lists of personal goals that are made by people suffering from depression and those who aren’t. In the study the participants were asked to list their goals that they would like to achieve at any time in the short, medium or long term.

The goals were then categorised for their specificity, like a global or abstract goal, ‘to be happy’ would represent a general goal, and a goal such as ‘improving on a 5 mile marathon time this season’ would be counted as a more specific goal. The researchers found that both groups did generate the same number of goals, and people with depression in fact listed goals which were more general and more abstract.

By having abstract goals depressed people reach a state of hopelessness as they are not able to visualise their goals clearly.

Dr Joanne Dickson said that helping depressed people set specific goals and generate specific reasons for goal achievement may increase their chances of realising them which could break the cycle of negativity which is coupled with depression.

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