As mentioned in a prior post, depressed individuals are preoccupied with many negative thoughts and have common themes clusters. Some depressed individuals develop depression due to dependency issues which they have. Their thoughts, perceptions and emotions about themselves are centered around others. Their self is defined and valued in terms of the perceived relationships. For instance, perceiving that others love and want their company increases self-esteem and positive mood (Blatt & Shichman, 1983). Negative perception will lead to a depressive state. The dependently depressed desires contact with others, who will provide him or her with care, protection, help, approval, nurturance and love. There is a constant craving to fulfill these needs (Brown & Silberschatz, 1989), which can cause them to be clingy. The dependent depressed invests allot energy in having relationships that provide him or her with support. Individuals, who depend on others to feel good are also often friendly, giving and trusting to the point of submissiveness and compliance.
Depression occurs when the person is unable to achieve interpersonal contacts that will fulfill his or her needs. The depressed becomes preoccupied with thoughts of neglect, lack of reliability and availability of others, deprivation and rejection (Blatt, 2004). The depression is then characterized by feelings of weakness, loneliness, helplessness, hopelessness and feelings of depletion (Reis & Grenyer, 2002). There are also fears of abandonment, anxiety and somatic concerns. Lack of satisfaction of the needs can lead to anger and aggressive desires. These feelings often fester as they cannot be expressed towards the source. Expression of the anger could lead to rejection and the total loss of the relationship, which they cannot permit. Theextreme neediness and the constant need of reassurance leaves others feeling frustrated. When it becomes really overwhelmed for others, the depressed is then criticized and rejected. This causes the depressive symptoms to escalate. This vicious cycle reinforce the duration and the intensity of the depression.
Blatt, S. J. (2004). Experiences of depression: theoretical, clinical and research perspectives. Washington: American psychological press.
Blatt, S. J., & Shichman, S. (1983). Two primary configurations of psychopathology. Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought, 6, 187-254.
Brown, J. D., & Silberschatz, G. (1989). Dependency, self criticism and depressive attributional style. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 98, 2, 187-188.
Reis, S. & Grenyer, B. F. S. (2002). Pathways to anaclitic and introjective depression. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 75, 445–459.