J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  2005 Jul;44(4):425-431.

Hopelessness Depression: Is it a Meaningful Subtype of Depression?

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.


Although hopelessness is a common mood in depressive disorders, the significance of hopelessness in depression has not been well appreciated. This paper reviewed the development and progress of the theory of hopelessness depression. Abramson et al. proposed hopelessness depression as a subtype of depression, distinguished by the specific explanatory style for stressful negative life events. The pathogenesis of hopelessness depression was explained by the trait-stress model, in which stressful negative life events activated a underlying trait, i.e. a specific depressogenic explanatory style. Although it is not well substantiated yet whether hopelessness depression is a meaningful subtype of depression or not, the theory of hopelessness depression is intriguing and stimulating not only in understanding the cognitive aspect of depression but also in maintaining positive emotion in general. Further study is in need to verify hopelessness depression as a clinically meaningful subtype of depression.


Hopelessness depression; Explanatory style
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