The latest news on this change — carefully culled from the world wide web by our change agents. They do the surfing, so you don't have to!
Can People "Catch" Depression?
Can you “catch” depression the way one catches the common cold? It may not work exactly like that, but researchers have seen that spouses of people who suffer from mood disorders, including depression, may have a higher chance of being diagnosed with a similar condition. Up to 40% of people whose spouses have bipolar disorder get clinical depression.
Researchers believe this tendency to feed off other people’s emotions comes from our need to mimic. "When we mimic other people's facial expressions, we also can adopt the mood that these people are in,” one researcher says in this ABC News article. “It affects us, even on a superficial level." The larger issue is that people who are diagnosed with depression have more of an effect on people around them than previously thought.
If you think you’re in a relationship where you or your spouse is depressed and the unaffected spouse is starting to show symptoms, Igor Galynker, Ph.D. from Beth Israel Medical Center, says that your coping strategy can determine whether you succumb or not. If spouse’s accept that one’s behavior is due to an illness and is not part of his or her character, Galynker says, then you’re less likely to be affected.
For other depression coping strategies, read our feature article on dealing with depression. [ABC News]