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.

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 September 16, 2014 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 September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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