How is significance related to depression?

In their classic book on depression Happiness is a Choice, Frank Minirth and Paul Meier ( ) describe the devastating emotional pain of depression. They describe symptoms that fall into five categories: sad affect (or expression and demeanor), painful thinking, physical symptoms, anxiety or agitation, and delusional thinking. In the painful thinking that accompanies depression, issues of significance often play a major role.

The book notes “As surely as a broken arm is painful physically, so the thinking of a depressed individual is painful emotionally . . . his thoughts are self-debasing. He has a negative self-concept . . . He tends to view himself as being deficient in qualities that he considers important, such¬†as popularity, intelligence, or spiritual maturity . . . The depressed individual has an overwhelming¬†sense of inadequacy and has feelings of worthlessness. He feels as though he is a nobody–a zero.”