Health Journal columnist Melinda Beck penned an amazingly accurate and helpful article in the Wall Street Journal about the self-criticism that so often accompanies depression and anxiety. Not only was I delighted that she approached such a difficult and complicated aspect of our illness with compassion and insight, but I was ecstatic to see myself as one of the “experts” mentioned with suggestions on how to silent the annoying voice that says we are incapable, weak, and worthless.
Depression and self-criticism, of course, are great companions. Beck writes:
Unrelenting self-criticism often goes hand in hand with depression and anxiety, and it may even predict depression. In a study of 107 patients in the latest issue of Comprehensive Psychiatry, David M. Dunkley at Jewish General Hospital in Montreal and colleagues found that those who were most self-critical were the most likely to be depressed and have difficulties in relationships four years later, even if they weren’t depressed to begin with.
Beck goes on to list several cognitive behavioral techniques she’s culled from experts like Katherine Muller, director of Psychology Training at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY., that can help us quiet our inner critic so that we believe only half of what he says:
Theresa Borchard writes the Beyond Blue blog on Beliefnet.
Monitor your thoughts»