Washington: Many cases of depression may be caused by prejudice from the self or from another person, a new study suggests.William Cox of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and colleagues argue that prejudice and depression are fundamentally connected.Consider the following sentence: “I really hate _____. I hate the way _____ look. I hate the way _____ talk.”What words belong in the blanks? It’s possible that the statement expresses prejudice toward a stigmatized group: “I really hate Black people,” “I hate the way gay men look,” or “I hate the way Jews talk.” But this statement actually comes from a depressed patient talking about herself: “I really hate me. I hate the way I look. I hate the way I talk.”The fact that the statement could have been completed in two equally plausible ways hints at a deep connection between prejudice and depression. Indeed, Cox and colleagues argue that the kinds of stereotypes about others that lead to prejudice and the kinds of schemas about the self that lead to depression are fundamentally similar.
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