Diagnosed With Pessimism

Andrew Sullivan —  Apr 27 2012 @ 8:12pm

Michael F. Scheier's research has shown that optimism is associated with mental and physical well-being. An unintended consequence:

[Some patients] have told me that they feel guilty. They read that optimism is associated with better health among patients recovering from illness, and they think, "If only I would be more optimistic, I'd do better." Yet, they can't put themselves in that frame of mind. Family members may chastise them too for not promoting their recovery by simply expecting good things to happen. Perhaps it was naïve not to have imagined these reactions. Regardless, it is troubling that they have occurred.