Saturday, April 13, 2013

Scientists Unveil the Bright Side of Depression

Now, that's what we call being able to look at the bright side of life! Two scientists recently published a study that suggests depression may actually be an adaptive process rather than a malfunction of the brain - meaning that even though depression is admittedly uncomfortable and crippling, it could serve a role in the evolutionary process, as well as indirectly contributing towards the overarching advancements of society. Does that sound far-fetched? Feel free to read the full article here, whose main points we'll reflect in this post.

Looking at the bright side of depression

Anyone who's ever suffered from depression will easily attest to its many challenges: how it will curb your focus, diminish your well-being, bring down your energy levels and enjoyment of life. There are hundreds of unfortunate side effects of depression, so... how can these scientists possibly claim that depression may actually be preserved by natural selection as a vital function of the brain?

Well, according to them - the unapparent blessing of depression is how it forces us to think hard on our their life and the inadequacies they perceive in themselves. To overcome depression we actually have to become mentally stronger, and that will ultimately work to our advantage. This forced analytic process may actually help the brain improve its capacity for extensive and dedicated problem solving. In other words, people who endure through the handicap of depression may actually resurface with increased intelligence, focus and all-around increased problem solving capabilities.

Will depression actually make you smarter?

According to these researchers, that may very well be the case -- with the old adage what doesn't kill you makes you stronger effectively applying to anyone suffering from depression: "The analytical rumination hypothesis proposes that depression is an evolved response to complex problems, whose function is to minimize disruption and sustain analysis of those problems". In short, this research maintains that depression may actually have some usefulness to the evolution of man, by helping him improve on his ability to deconstruct and overcome challenging problems in life!

Without this overspread mental imbalance, it could be that our society would simply not progress as quickly. Does that sound crazy to you? Even if it does, this is proper scientific research we're talking about! How does this whole concept make you feel, that's what we're interested in knowing? Please share your thoughts by writing in your comments below.

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