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View Poll Results: Females: Do you get less or more depressed after talking to friends about issues?

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  • More

    3 16.67%
  • Less

    12 66.67%
  • Stays the same

    2 11.11%
  • Moi, have problems? Pshaw..!

    1 5.56%
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  1. #1
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Default Girl-Talk -> More Depression?

    Complaining to friends increases girls' misery

    Girls who dish to their friends about their problems may actually be increasing their misery by doing so.

    Such are the findings of a study released Sunday, in which researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia found that "co-rumination" -- in other words, excessively discussing problems with close friends -- appears to increase anxiety and depression in young and adolescent girls...
    Any comments or insights on this topic? (You can even venture outside of the gender angle to examine depression in general, if you'd like...)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #2
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    It makes me feel better because:

    -I try to get concrete ideas for improving my situation, which makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something
    -it makes me feel like I'm connecting with the person I'm sharing with
    -sometimes they'll have been in the situation before and I won't feel quite so alone, or they'll reassure me that I'm not being completely retarded

    It also makes me feel worse because I have the morning-after regret about sharing something personal, even with a close friend...especially if I've been drinking and shared more than I was intending to. My INFJ friend/roommate is way too good at subtly dragging things out of me. It makes me feel nauseous to have discussed things which are intended to be internal..but at the same time there is the relief--it's just like picking off a scab which exposes more raw flesh than you were expecting.

    I will also start cringing if I feel like I've confided too often in one person ...it makes me feel like I'm being too self-centred, and I start getting angry at myself for whining when I have so little to complain about. And I'm convinced that I'm irritating the other person with all my nonsense.

    Overall though I think talking to people makes me less depressed in most situations.

  3. #3
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    I think this is what the problem would be if there is one:
    "co-rumination" -- in other words, excessively discussing problems with close friends -- appears to increase anxiety and depression in young and adolescent girls.
    I don't think it's healthy to excessively talk about a problem although what quantifies as excessive is open to definition and it also depends on who you're talking to.

    I notice at my job that if one of my female coworkers is having relationship problems over trivial things, the unhappy single women advocate leaving the relationship and basically villanize the guy. When you have a group of friends that aren't supportive and proactive then yes, I can see how this study is relevant, but in my experience the feelings of closeness talking about problems causes outweighs any anxiety I feel. And doesn't that happy hormone get released when women feel like they've bonded with others? Doesn't that counteract some of the anxiety?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    It also makes me feel worse because I have the morning-after regret about sharing something personal, even with a close friend...especially if I've been drinking and shared more than I was intending to. My INFJ friend/roommate is way too good at subtly dragging things out of me. It makes me feel nauseous to have discussed things which are intended to be internal..but at the same time there is the relief--it's just like picking off a scab which exposes more raw flesh than you were expecting.
    Yes, I've experienced that with certain individuals but they usually point out some part of the problem I was denying and it's actually better in the end.

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    I will also start cringing if I feel like I've confided too often in one person ...it makes me feel like I'm being too self-centred, and I start getting angry at myself for whining when I have so little to complain about. And I'm convinced that I'm irritating the other person with all my nonsense.

    Overall though I think talking to people makes me less depressed in most situations.
    Yeah, it's like "thanks for oversharing." I know who I can talk to and who I can't so I've got an in-built splatter guard. Sometimes I feel bad that I inundate the people I know I can count on with my problems so I try to limit excessive complaining to once or twice a month.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  4. #4
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    I understand the issue in the OP is one of rehearsing one's misery. This can be done in our own mind or by sharing with someone else. Also, expecting another person to make you feel all better can create additional disappointments if they cannot live up to that?

    For me it's pretty simple. If I need to share something and the person responds with judgment or just a complete lack of comprehension, then I feel embarrassed and really regret my own poor judgment in sharing with them. If they understand, then I feel better and can move on. I don't like the idea of someone dragging things out of me, although i'm not sure it's possible as I simply don't share what I don't care to.

    The bottom line is that whether it is sharing problems or analyzing them for ourselves, if the activity is not to solve the problem or to decompress emotionally, then it is rehearsing it and making misery a habit.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Any comments or insights on this topic? (You can even venture outside of the gender angle to examine depression in general, if you'd like...)
    I didn't know this was news...

    From what I remember, the theory goes that talking reinforces the actual situation, working your mind up into a frenzy rather than dealing or coping with it. One of the reasons why therapists work and friends do not is because friends agree with you to make you feel better... but it reinforces the issue in your mind, making the stress a part of your life. It strips away the ability to deal with it at a practical level.

    Females have two major traits differences that make this affect them more; they are programmed to share in order to bond and they are more emotionally reactive.

    The first causes them to share more than is healthy - one of the comments in the article says something along the lines of "we wouldn't do it if it hurt us", followed by an explanation of how females share to bond. That's exactly it - it's group suffering in order to bond, but that pushes the boundries compared to men, who do bond under the same conditions but don't have the drive to share. Females are also more emotionally reactive (ie: more likely to express/release emotions, to swing up and down and to feel emotions more intensely), although they still span the same range as men. This means that when they talk about their problems, they will tend to work themselves up and have a disportionate emotional reaction (either compared to men, or compared to women who don't talk it out).

    From memory and not really validated...

    The short answer;

    +Women reinforce their problems.
    +Women have a stronger emotional reaction
    +Women bond through sharing of problems
    +Women need to bond
    +Women tend to agree with each other to support each other (see bonding!)
    = Excessive negative reinforcement + lack of objectivity and problem dealing.

    It's all relative though - while women are more likely to do this, especially at a young age, men can get themselves into that situation. My brother is currently in this cycle right now. He cut off his friends because they were telling him he was a idiot and stuck with those that put up with his stupidity. That has reinforced it to the point where he transformed himself from a tough guy into a quivering mess of jello.

    And it reminds me of my GF - she was baking yesterday with plans to bring it in to work. After finishing it all up, waiting for it to bake, she went to remove the banana loaves from the oven - except they stuck and she couldn't get them out. She wasn't happy. However, it was only when I tried to console her that things got worse. She went from being irritated to crying, from stupid pans to the world hates me.

    It doesn't help that both of them are emotionally reactive to start with... but it makes them serve as perfect examples!

    The mistake is to generalise the theory to all females - even though teenager females are probably the worst of any group I could imagine, which is why it probably showed up strongly there. Teenager males doing this aren't exactly considered very manly...

  6. #6
    Pareo cattus Natrushka's Avatar
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    Interesting, and from what I've seen among some women I know, makes sense. I didn't vote, however - I don't talk about my stuff with other girls / women. I don't usually talk about things with anyone until I've thought about them to the point of knowing what I was going to do / not do. I'll tell people later that I had this problem, or that issue, or that something was bothering me, but always AFTER it's been dealt with.

    [OT]PT, you're scaring me. We had a Banana Muffin Melt Down here last Sunday. [/OT]

    This signature left intentionally blank.

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  7. #7
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natrushka View Post
    [OT]PT, you're scaring me. We had a Banana Muffin Melt Down here last Sunday. [/OT]
    [OT]
    I don't know why I find this funny, but I think it would be hillarious if an INTP and an INTJ were going out, posting at the same forum, but both are so private that the details they give out are changed enough to not quite let the other know... and that they kept getting freaked out because "that just happened to me too, sorta!"... while talking to each other. Talk about being unaware Oh, we had muffins that didn't turn out either, FWIW.[/OT]

    (You aren't, right? )

  8. #8
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I don't know why I find this funny, but I think it would be hillarious if an INTP and an INTJ were going out, posting at the same forum, but both are so private that the details they give out are changed enough to not quite let the other know... and that they kept getting freaked out because "that just happened to me too, sorta!"... while talking to each other.
    Do you like Pina Coladas?
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  9. #9
    Pareo cattus Natrushka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    [OT]
    (You aren't, right? )
    I just had that exact same thought.

    This signature left intentionally blank.

    Really.

  10. #10
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Overall, I tend to feel better, but I can see how, taken to extremes or discussed with the wrong kinds of friends, it could make you feel worse.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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