Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

I don’t deserve to be this happy: Dampening of positive feelings found to predict postpartum depressive symptoms

Date:
April 29, 2014
Source:
KU Leuven
Summary:
For the first time, research shows that the dampening or suppression of positive emotions plays an important role in the development of postpartum depression. This has implications for the treatment of depressed mothers. The researchers are currently working to develop a treatment method focused specifically on counteracting dampening. Existing methods, such as mindfulness, may also have a positive effect on dampening they say.

A new KU Leuven study shows for the first time that the dampening or suppression of positive emotions plays an important role in the development of postpartum depression. This has implications for the treatment of depressed mothers.

Related Articles


We often forget that depression is characterized by both negative feelings and a lack of positive feelings. Researchers suspect that this may have to do with the way depression-prone individuals deal with positive or happy feelings. These individuals downplay or suppress positive feelings through a cognitive response style called dampening. Typical dampening responses include: "These good feelings won't last, you'll see"; "I can't forget that things weren't always this good" and "I probably don't deserve to be this happy."

Professor Filip Raes (Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences) is the first to investigate whether dampening of positive emotions also lies at the root of postpartum depression.

The study polled around 200 women once during and twice after their pregnancies. The women answered a questionnaire between the 24th and 34th weeks of pregnancy to determine depressive symptoms and cognitive responses to negative and positive emotions. They were then polled for depressive symptoms at 12 weeks and 24 weeks postpartum.

In about 8% of the mothers, responses indicated symptoms consistent with postpartum depression. Dampening was found to be a statistically significant predictor of women's depressive symptoms postpartum. The more a mother indicated dampening responses to happy feelings, the higher the level of depressive symptoms experienced postpartum.

In contrast -- and surprisingly -- dwelling on negative feelings (depressive rumination) was not found to be indicative of postnatal depression.

The results show for the first time that the suppression of positive feelings plays a significant role in depression. In determining the contributing factors of postpartum depression, the manner in which respondents deal with positive feelings appears to be at least as important as -- and in some cases even more important than -- the manner in which they deal with negative feelings.

In turn, these findings point to a need for (preventive) treatment techniques to address the suppression or dampening of positive feelings alongside maladaptive responses to negative feelings (such as depressive rumination).

The researchers are currently working to develop a treatment method focused specifically on counteracting dampening. Existing methods, such as mindfulness, may also have a positive effect on dampening, say the researchers.

The study is published online in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by KU Leuven. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Filip Raes, Jorien Smets, Ineke Wessel, Filip Van Den Eede, Sabine Nelis, Erik Franck, Yves Jacquemyn, Myriam Hanssens. Turning the pink cloud grey: Dampening of positive affect predicts postpartum depressive symptoms. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2014.04.003

Cite This Page:

KU Leuven. "I don’t deserve to be this happy: Dampening of positive feelings found to predict postpartum depressive symptoms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140429085233.htm>.
KU Leuven. (2014, April 29). I don’t deserve to be this happy: Dampening of positive feelings found to predict postpartum depressive symptoms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140429085233.htm
KU Leuven. "I don’t deserve to be this happy: Dampening of positive feelings found to predict postpartum depressive symptoms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140429085233.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins