Confiding In Your Friends May Actually Reduce Risk Of Depression

Confiding In Your Friends May Actually Reduce Risk Of Depression/Photo Credits:

Nine months into the pandemic and it is more than evident that the novel coronavirus is not only ravaging the health of people across the globe, but it is also exacerbating mental health conditions.

A new study which was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry has shed light on habits and behavioural patterns which worsen existing mental illnesses, including depression. The study is especially relevant in the current circumstances, as we continue to learn to live with the new normal of isolation and lockdowns.

In a pathbreaking finding, authors of the study have highlighted that maintaining social connections and regular social interaction, including visiting your friends and family members may actually have a protective effect on reducing the risk of depression and can also positively impact your mood.

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“Far and away the most prominent of these factors was the frequency of confiding in others, but also visits with family and friends, all of which highlighted the important protective effect of social connection and social cohesion,” Psychiatrist Jordan Smoller at Harvard Medical School noted.

The findings highlighted the importance of socialising and the crippling impact of its absence, especially in the current scenarios of social distancing and lockdown measures, were staying in touch with our family members and friends is more difficult than ever.

To conduct the study, the authors made use of the Mendelian randomisation to understand the potential factors which impact our mood and even worsen it. These factors included our lifestyle, social life and even environmental issues. The authors focused on a variety of factors which seemed to influence and increase the risk of depression in people. When the researchers’ studied the data of 1,00,000 Britishers, one of the biggest findings of the research was the impact of viewing TV and its link with an increased risk of depression.

The authors of the study, “Our findings suggest that health care provider assessment of media use patterns in adult patients and providing psychoeducation on the potential mood impacts of excess television watching could represent another effective component of depression prevention.”

The major takeaway of the study was that regular social interaction and confiding in your friends and family members considerably lower the risk for depression. The authors found out that even visiting your family members could provide significant protection against depression. While you may not be able to visit your loved ones right now, picking up your phone and video calling them, may have a similar impact.

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