Goalstriving dependency and depression

When personal effort is perceived as being successful, the goal-attainment beliefs described may lead to feelings of potency. However, this belief set could lead to feelings of failure and self-blame if the ideal outcome is not achieved. Thus, an individual with these extreme beliefs is particularly vulnerable to marked changes in affect. These changes may exacerbate a biological predisposition to mood fluctuation, and, in turn, depressive symptoms, such as physical retardation, slowed thinking and low mood, might be viewed as further evidence of failure to "do well at everything" or "be happy all the time".

A tendency towards over-dependence upon others appears to be characteristic of both bipolar and unipolar depression (Hollon et at., 1986) and to be mood-state dependent (Miranda & Persons, 1988; Miranda et al., 1998). The findings described previously indicate that in bipolar individuals belief in the importance of autonomy may exist concurrently with feelings of dependency. As the need to depend upon others during depression is at odds with the ideal of autonomous functioning, such a conflicting set of beliefs may generate further perceptions of failure and frustration in bipolar individuals during the depressive phase, and in this way strong autonomous beliefs may act as a maintenance factor in bipolar depression.

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