Just as depression tends to cast a grey pall over everything in your world and in yourself, so there is an irresistible tendency to project that gloomy view into the future. The depressed person will always find something to be pessimistic about. And as with one’s view of the present, these gloomy predictions are often without any reasonable basis in reality. And even when there are problems in a person’s life, there are many different ways to look at one’s future. A person with cancer, for example, may have a very optimistic and upbeat view of the future, whereas a depressed person in perfectly good physical condition may be full of gloomy predictions about his health. In fact, in one research study patients who had suffered from both cancer and depression were asked to rate which of their two conditions involved greater suffering. They rated depression as the more painful of the two conditions. In summary, there is not generally a very close correlation between the realistic prospects for a person’s future and how a depressed person is likely to view it. Pessimism is a cardinal symptom of depression.