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Compensatory Buffers, Depression, and Irrational Beliefs

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This article proposes a new explanation of the connections between depression and irrational beliefs in the light of the concept of compensatory buffers (CBs). Significant factors in some forms of depression are negative messages coming from an internal agency called the inner critic. To avoid the impact of these messages, the individual feels driven to acquire compensatory buffers, the purpose of which is to compensate for the inner critic's disparagement of the self. When these buffers fail, the result is a feeling of lowered self-esteem and depression. Loss is thus seen to trigger depression when it is the loss of one or more compensatory buffers. Irrational beliefs are explained as beliefs in the necessity of acquiring compensatory buffers; shoulds derive their force from the fact that they prescribe the compensatory buffers to be obtained in order to ward off the pain of depressogenic punishments associated with the inner critic.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Anthetics Institute, Lafayette, Louisiana

Publication date: 01 January 1992

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