If you’ve ever grappled with depression, there’s a good chance you have got nothing nice to mention in regards to the sickness — and for good reason: Depression can leave you brokenhearted, hopeless, and uninterested in the tasks you once loved.
But according to some mental health specialists, depression has an optimistic side. These “glass-half-full” specialists state the apparent symptoms of depression may actually be evolutionary adaptations.
“One means to think about it is the natural problem-solving capacities of depression,” explains J. Anderson Thomson, MD, assistant director of the Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
The notion: Melancholy lets it compels one to concentrate on such a problem and solve it — and your body know that there’s a large problem in your world. That could be why people who are depressed can’t seem to get going in other areas of their lives. For the reason that regard, says Dr. Thomson, melancholy is similar to pain, which signals your brain that some part of your body needs help. It is likely that that pain will make you cry out, indicating to people around you that you need help in case the problem is too big for you personally alone. Likewise, depression’s severity is a style of calling out to friends for help. At the extreme, even attempts and suicidal thoughts are their own cries for assistance.
“Depression tells you there’s a problem, tells you where the issue is, discontinues company as usual, and indicates others that you’re in distress,” explains Thomson.
But that’s not all: Recent studies have investigated numerous possible positives to melancholy, keying in to the unique abilities in order to cope with depression, you learn.
7 Manners Depression Makes You Stronger
Here’s what research is demonstrating:
- You’re a better problem-solver. One of the apparent symptoms of depression is poor concentration; another: an almost fanatical rumination in regards to a trouble in your lifetime. To work out these symptoms, you might need adviser or a therapist to assist you work your way that will help you concentrate your attention on solving a current issue. The upside? Those analytic abilities could be put to utilize effectively in your life. Actually, recent research suggests that blue people make more educated choices due to the fact that they take longer and invest more effort in making their choice. “There’s an implicit premise that we’re sadder but wiser,” explains Andreas Wilke, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y., and a memory and cognition researcher who has tested depressed people’s decision making capacities.
- You learn the best way to survive. The process of locating your way out of depression may assist you to become better at surviving. The situation, Thomson says, is that many people initially pick devastating coping mechanisms. “Drinking won’t help a fishhook in your hand and it will not help melancholy,” he says. Poor cope choices will just compound your troubles. Work with your therapist to learn the coping skills you need.
- You have relationships that are better. Some individuals find that depression is a wake-up call for prioritizing what is important in their own lives. “Most of the items that call for depression are interpersonal issues,” says Thompson. Pay attention to what you learn from depression, and use it to make your relationships better. In addition, research suggests that blue individuals really have greater sensitivity to social dynamics.
- You are more compassionate. According to some specialists, melancholy can assist you to gain a deeper sense of empathy for others going through rough times.
- You buck pressure. Depressed folks spend a lot of time trying to figure out what went wrong, and through this technique, using assistance from a therapist or others, they are able to understand how to avert or handle future stressful situations.
- You’re a realist. Research indicates that depressed individuals have a more realistic understanding of when they have control in scenarios than people who are not depressed. In addition they seek out negative feedback about their performance. The upside? A reasonable perspective of situations and the people in them.
- It’s possible for you to find deception. Sniffing out a lie could be tricky, but folks who are depressed seem to be better at knowing when someone is deceiving them. Chalk it up to the increased social awareness plus a more realistic view of life that appears to come with depression.
“Melancholy is a part of the design of human nature, and just because it’s painful does not mean it is bad or without its uses,” Thomson says.
A Fresh Way of Treating Depression?
Could this new comprehension of depression bring about new methods of treating depression? According to Paul Andrews, PhD, a researcher at the Virginia Institute of Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics in Richmond, the traditional approaches of treatment or treatment to divert or reduce depressive rumination could really derail this natural process. “The next generation of talk therapy has given up on altering the way patients believe,” he says. “Instead, it is helping them accept their ideas.”
Mindfulness-based therapies and expressive writing seem to be more effective in managing melancholy than treatments that seek to modify how you think. “You possess a quicker response and reduced danger of relapse,” says Andrews.
However, in case your quality of life is substantially impaired — for example, you can’t eat or sleep, or your relationships are floundering — or you start to consider suicide is a solution to your issues, seek help. With the guidance of your physician or therapist, you understand the best way to reap its advantages — and can both treat your depression.