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      The paradoxical power of the depressed patient: a problem for the ranking theory of depression.

      The British journal of medical psychology

      Animals, Assertiveness, Competitive Behavior, Defense Mechanisms, Depressive Disorder, diagnosis, psychology, Hierarchy, Social, Humans, Interpersonal Relations, Machiavellianism, Power (Psychology), Self Concept, Sick Role

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          Abstract

          The social ranking (or social competition) theory of depression suggests that the capacity for episodes of depressed mood evolved as a mechanism for inhibiting challenge. Depressed mood induces the sufferer to accommodate to low social rank, or to losing in social competition, or to adopting the one-down position in a complementary relationship (Price, 1991; Price, Sloman, Gardner, Gilbert & Rohde, 1994; Sloman, Price, Gilbert & Gardner, 1994). Thus depressed patients should be observed to forego the privileges of high rank and of winning, such as exercising social power and getting their own way. However, several commentators have noted that depressed patients often seem to be very powerful, and even appear to use their depression to manipulate others. This paper attempts to reconcile the theory to such observations.

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          8527357

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