Grumpy Grandpa (By: Jennae Haug)

Unfortunately, the world today is filled with people who live lives in a state of depression. Often, that depression can get the best of people, and their realities can become significantly distorted. Whether or not distortion occurs, it is common for those who are depressed to perceive life negatively. Doing so is known as a negative explanatory style, which is one’s habitual way of expressing life in a negative manner.

My sweet grandfather has recently experienced a number of physical discomforts, all of which the doctors he has seen have been unable to explain. My grandmother was diagnosed with Dementia almost five years ago, and because they live rather isolated, my grandfather has been the one who must take care of her round the clock, not to mention watch her memory deteriorate on a daily basis. When one doctor suggested that my grandfather may be depressed, no one objected, including him. It is now apparent that in the midst of everything, my once jolly grandfather is now pessimistic and negative. He frequently makes statements expressing the desire to pass away or regarding the irreversible state of the love of his life. When others share happy news, instead of joining in on the conversation, adding to the celebration, he either stays out of it, or makes small, pessimistic remarks referring to how short lived or miniscule the accomplishment will be.

My grandfather exhibits negative explanatory style because it has become natural for him to explain things pessimistically. He constantly blames the government for everything that has gone wrong in his life, not to mention himself for living in Wyoming where he and his wife have been essentially on their own since they can remember. By blaming his set backs, or as he would refer to them, failures, on himself or the government, he displays living a negative explanatory style.

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