View Full Version : Depression as a contagious illness


Kunga Dorji
07-02-13, 11:10 PM
Initially sourced from Daniel Amen's blog- but here is the reference behind it:

http://cpx.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/04/15/2167702613485075.abstract


Abstract

Cognitive vulnerability is a potent risk factor for depression. Individual differences in cognitive vulnerability solidify in early adolescence and remain stable throughout the life span. However, stability does not mean immutability. We hypothesized that cognitive vulnerability would be susceptible to change during major life transitions when social milieus undergo significant changes (e.g., moving to college). Specifically, we tested the hypothesis that cognitive vulnerability could change via a contagion effect. We tested this hypothesis using a prospective longitudinal design with a sample of randomly assigned college freshmen roommate pairs (103 pairs). Results supported the hypotheses. Participants who were randomly assigned to a roommate with high levels of cognitive vulnerability were likely to “catch” their roommate’s cognitive style and develop higher levels of cognitive vulnerability. Moreover, those who experienced an increase in cognitive vulnerability had significantly greater levels of depressive symptoms over the prospective interval than those who did not.




This is sort of interesting in terms of the milieu of an online community- and I regard it as solid evidence that all of us posting here have a responsibility to all here to work on our own cognitive styles, develop positive thinking styles and use CBT techniques on ourselves to challenge our own negative thought patterns.

Fuzzy12
07-04-13, 10:02 AM
This is interesting and I've seen it happen. We watch and learn. Or maybe seeing someone depressed reminds me of our own problems. Or maybe we become more vulnerable because we feel bad for the depressed person.

My cousin (who lived above us) told my mom to stop visiting her when she is depressed because she was afraid that my mom might depress her or her family as well. :(

This is sort of interesting in terms of the milieu of an online community- and I regard it as solid evidence that all of us posting here have a responsibility to all here to work on our own cognitive styles, develop positive thinking styles and use CBT techniques on ourselves to challenge our own negative thought patterns.

I find this a bit troubling but maybe I'm not understanding you correctly. Are you saying that we need to be careful to not make our posts too depressive or negative? I worry about depressing others since too many of my posts are extremely negative and I guess, sound rather hopeless. I try to hide my depression in real life and I could put a positive spin on my posts but that would defeat the purpose of being able to share what I'm really thinking and feeling. And that means a lot to me.

Or are you saying that we need to work on our depression, do everything possible to overcome it, not just for our own sake but for the sake of those around us as well? I know that my husband finds me depressing and for his sake I would love to be happier. But currently, all I can do is to pretend that I'm not depressed and I don't want to do that on here.

SquarePeg
07-04-13, 11:36 AM
I didn´t read the link but took it to mean that what the title says.

If I´m really down I post for support, there´s nothing like this community here to give you a boost.

However if I´m really down I either don´t read or reply to posts where the person is feeling down as I know it affects me.

When I´m feeling ok I reply to those posts and try to give helpful advice.

I remember working with a really depressing person and she affected the whole office for years. When she left the atmosphere changed completely, for the better. She wasn´t actually depressed, just very doom and gloom about everything.

On the flip side I worked with a woman who really should have been severely depressed the amount of abuse and sadness and pain she had suffered in life but she was usually extremely bubbly and always laughing. She could tell us the crappiest joke and we would all be laughing because she would find it so funny.

Canadian Mess
07-04-13, 02:17 PM
didn't read the post, but you know the saying "misery likes company"? When people have something that occurs that makes them miserable, others that can relate to their pain, will often flock together. People who are all bubbly don't want to be "infected" or "brought down" by a miserable person.

But isn't that the beauty of a forum? If a person is depressed, even if they can't say it or talk about it with people in their own lives, they can talk about it on a forum and see it in a different light.

Sure we have a "responsibility" to reflect and do our best to be positive, but when you are depressed you can't in your own mind. That's why it's called depression.

I Reflecting on my own bouts with depression, when you are depressed it doesn't help when people tell you to cheer up or try harder. That's someone I'm already doing. I get MORE depressed when people try to wave the wand of positivity.

It's an interesting thought, but doesn't really help in reality. When a person is ready or meets the right situation or person, that's when they get out of it. Talking about my problems, reflecting on my problems with others, reflecting on others similar problems... that is what helps me. That is what this forum does for me, it's a form of therapy- for reflection, discussion, support and community, even when in your own life, there's no one to talk to.

SB_UK
07-05-13, 05:03 PM
Initially sourced from Daniel Amen's blog- but here is the reference behind it:

http://cpx.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/04/15/2167702613485075.abstract




This is sort of interesting in terms of the milieu of an online community- and I regard it as solid evidence that all of us posting here have a responsibility to all here to work on our own cognitive styles, develop positive thinking styles and use CBT techniques on ourselves to challenge our own negative thought patterns.


I guess most of my posts have a negative thought pattern (despair) associated with a negative thought pattern (people supporting a flawed societal infrastructure through buying into consumerism)
... ... ... so is it the group losing their minds and shouting about it which need to stop having entirely appropriate negative thought patterns
- or the 'happy' people who're steering the species off a cliff whose positive (happy) thought patterns - need to be re-aligned to ours
- if only transiently

- so we can all have entirely appropriate positive thought patterns in a functional society based on a foundation of 'enforced' equality of man.

All that's required is to kill off money and law - and to share everything.

People won't destroy what's theirs.