Correcting cognitive distortions is a requirement for recovery. The depressed are given to negative thought patterns that not only send them down the path to depression but keep them mired in the bog of despair.
Drawing negative conclusions about themselves, engaging in all-or-nothing or black-and-white thinking, focusing on problems rather than solutions, generalizing catastrophic outcomes from one specific bad event-all are manifestations of the depressed state of mind. It is necessary-and possible-for the depressed to change the quality of their thinking in order to change their mood.
But the hardest domain in which to do that is the interpersonal sphere. While depressed people need to shape up their distorted thinking, there is an interpersonal reality that they also must come to terms with. A common cognitive distortion that sustains depression is "people don't like me." But the fact is, there is a lot about depressed behavior that is aversive to other people-things they do and things that they don't do that are genuinely off-putting. It is a terrible struggle to sort out the distinctions-yet necessary, as supportive relationships with others are critical for recovery.