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Positive Effects Of Depression Options
intelfam
Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2011 1:24:24 PM
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Now it's a case of utilising it rather than stigmatising

Medical News
RuthP
Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2011 2:06:56 PM

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Hi intelfam,

I, too, saw this report a few days ago and have been chewing on it since. It could indicate a reason for evolutionary pressure to have favored some level of depression in a population.

I find myself wondering whether knowing this would have made any difference to me when I was struggling with clinical depression.
jmacann
Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2011 3:51:02 PM
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intelfam wrote:
Now it's a case of utilising it rather than stigmatising

Medical News


Very much so. People who suffer from depression are specially aware of strategic uncertainty -acquired through a painstaking process. By learning to control this advantage, seemingly out of hand responses are seen under a new light -as if eyesight to the blind.
wercozy
Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2011 5:50:18 PM
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WOW! That's a lot of 7734 to go through just to perform better on sequential decision-making tasks than non-depressed peers.

I'll bet people in-love perform better than depressed people who perform better than non-depressed people. Being in love is a great kick in the pants. People pay attention better, retain better, and are more creative. Being in love improves the immune system, and people sleep better and eat better too. Fewer sick days, fewer lost work days, more success, and more promotion. Then in a couple of years the "in-love" feeling wears off. Dang! Then it's time for boys and girls to break-up, get depressed for 6 months, find someone new, and start the whole process all over again.
kaNNa
Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 5:33:08 AM
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Depression may actually have a positive side effect. It appears that depressed people perform better than healthy people in sequential decision tasks, according to research in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Sequential decision tasks are a part of our problem-solving cognitive functioning abilities.

Although most symptoms of depression interfere with cognitive functioning, researchers including Paul Andrews, Ph.D., of the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics and Andy Thomson, M.D., of the University of Virginia have suggested that depression may promote analytical reasoning and persistence. These are qualities that are often helpful in complex tasks.

For the study, volunteers who were clinically depressed or recovering from depression (but otherwise healthy) were asked to play a computer game in which they could earn money by hiring an applicant in a simulated job search. The task was designed to mimic everyday decision problems and had an optimal strategy.

Each applicant was randomly “presented” to the volunteer one at a time along with an assigned monetary value. Participants then needed to determine when to stop the search and choose the current applicant.

Results revealed that the depressed participants came closer to the optimal strategy than their non-depressed counterparts. Although healthy participants searched through relatively few candidates before selecting an applicant, depressed participants conducted a more thorough search and made choices that gave them higher payoffs.

The study shows that even severe depression might yield some beneficial side effects. A full understanding of the consequences of depression may help uncover its roots and open avenues for treatment.

srirr
Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 5:35:29 AM

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A dark cloud has a silver lining.
intelfam
Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 10:00:05 AM
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RuthP wrote:
Hi intelfam,

I, too, saw this report a few days ago and have been chewing on it since. It could indicate a reason for evolutionary pressure to have favored some level of depression in a population.

I find myself wondering whether knowing this would have made any difference to me when I was struggling with clinical depression.


Me too, RuthP. As wercozy wisely points out, it's a hell of a way to improve your decision making and I am not convinced that the improvement was not just a plodding -on, desperate attempt to achieve something, anything, that offers the prospect of being "good" or "sane" or "coping".

I suffered depression some 30 years ago, fortunately not badly enough to keep me off work. That latter kept me sane because I could just plod mechanically and linearly through tasks that contributed in some way to others. I revisited depression 3 years ago, through chronic pain and loss of everything, far more acutely. I learned an enormous amount - but the price is far too high.

I wonder whether there is any truth in the old saying "depression is natures way of telling you to slow down". I, like you, sometimes ponder whether there was something in our evolutionary lifestyle which made depression and its symptoms more manageable and hence possibly useful. After all, it is still not clear whether depression is caused by neurochemistry or whether the neurochemistry is caused by the physical illness which depression is, undoubtedly. Maybe SAD is just a hangover from hibernation, predictive dormancy or brumation - a sort of "slow down" because of the lack of resources.

As depression is often, if not always, precipitated by stress, it may have had a protective function. I suppose that postnatal depression may have been a recuperative strategy that was "funtional" if child care were shared as in some primates? Who knows?
HarveySmith
Posted: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 3:49:38 AM
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Depression is something, which never really goes away. The positives of going through an episode and coping know that you will survive next time.
jacksonema
Posted: Thursday, December 15, 2011 1:47:14 AM
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This topic is very interesting thanks for
sharing important information about topic.
You have done very good work.
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