Talk:Cognitive dysphoria

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Neurological Analysis

Dysphoric individuals show increases in thalamic activity during depressive episodes

"Dysphoric individuals show increases in thalamic activity during depressive episodes61,65,66. It has been posited that the increase in activity in individuals with depression may be a compensatory mechanism, attempting to make up for lost signal resulting from reduced functional connectivity between the medial thalamus and the dorsal ACC61,67. The dorsal ACC exerts less inhibitory influence over the limbic system in individuals with depression, meaning that ‘more depressive’ limbic feedback is able to proceed via bottom-up pathways through the subgenual cingulate cortex upstream to the higher-order regions61. Therefore, in the context of the cognitive model, impaired connectivity between the thalamus and the ‘cognitive’ dorsal ACC may increase routing of information through the ‘emotional’ subgenual cingulate cortex, which increases the perceived emotionality of incoming stimuli for individuals with depression."[1]

Dysphoria was specifically associated with TUT/off-task thinking

"First, consistent with experimental work, dysphoria was specifically associated with TUT/off-task thinking [6, 7, 28, 33]. Second, despite the strong association between rumination and dysphoria, the results indicate that rumination, as measured by the RSQ, makes no direct contribution to the experience of TUT, with most of the variance accounted for by the measure of dysphoria we employed (CESD)"[2]

(1) there is an attentional bias for negative material in dysphoria

"(2) there is a coherence between attentional and memory bias in dysphoria; (3) in the dysphoric group, the association between attention and memory bias is present even when depression severity is controlled for"

"The literature on memory bias in depression has revealed a relatively consistent pattern of data, with dysphoric and depressed individuals showing enhanced memory for negative material compared with neutral and positive material whereas healthy controls show enhanced memory for positive material compared with negative and neutral material (e.g., Bradley, Mogg, & Williams, 1995; Denny & Hunt, 1992). This finding has been observed on explicit memory tests but not on tests of implicit memory (for a review, see Watkins, 2002). This has led to the idea that depression is associated with enhanced elaboration on negative material (Williams et al., 1997)."[3][4]

Concreteness Training Reduces Dysphoria: Proof-of-Principle for Repeated Cognitive Bias Modification in Depression

"Furthermore, to our knowledge, these findings are the first demonstration that repeated sessions of CBM designed to target the abstract-overgeneral bias characteristic of depression can reduce symptoms of depression. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that it is possible to reduce depressive symptoms in dysphoric individuals by repeated practice in adopting a more concrete way of processing self-related information, relative to no-training control and BGT conditions. Future research will need to more definitively establish the mechanism of change underpinning this treatment effect."[5]

Mindfulness aids in preventing dysphoria-induced depressive episodes

This is specifically relevant for relapses.[6][7]


  1. Disner, S. G., Beevers, C. G., Haigh, E. A., & Beck, A. T. (2011). Neural mechanisms of the cognitive model of depression. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 12(8), 467.
  2. Smallwood, J., O'Connor, R. C., & Heim, D. (2005). Rumination, dysphoria, and subjective experience. Imagination, cognition and personality, 24(4), 355-367.
  3. Koster, E. H., De Raedt, R., Leyman, L., & De Lissnyder, E. (2010). Mood-congruent attention and memory bias in dysphoria: exploring the coherence among information-processing biases. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 48(3), 219-225.
  4. Beevers, C. G., & Carver, C. S. (2003). Attentional bias and mood persistence as prospective predictors of dysphoria. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 27(6), 619-637.
  5. Watkins, E. R., Baeyens, C. B., & Read, R. (2009). Concreteness training reduces dysphoria: proof-of-principle for repeated cognitive bias modification in depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 118(1), 55.
  6. Ma, S. H., & Teasdale, J. D. (2004). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression: replication and exploration of differential relapse prevention effects. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 72(1), 31.
  7. Teasdale, J. D., Segal, Z. V., Williams, J. M. G., Ridgeway, V. A., Soulsby, J. M., & Lau, M. A. (2000). Prevention of relapse/recurrence in major depression by mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 68(4), 615.