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Is Depression Rubbing Off On You?

Depression is a Common Disorder

Clinical depression is quite the common disorder, affecting more than 19 million Americans each year.[1] Loss of interest in daily activities, everyday life, and low self-esteem characterize the prevalent disorder, which can negatively affect a person’s work life, social life, and overall general health.1 Feeling persistently sad and tired, irritable, restless, and experiencing suicidal thoughts are all signs of the disorder, which can be brought on by chronic stress, traumatic events, substance abuse, or genetics.1 However, the University of Notre Dame states that you may also start to feel a bit depressed yourself if you hang out with people who exhibit these symptoms.1

Can Depression be Contagious?

DepressionThat’s right, depression may be, in a sense, “contagious” through cognitive vulnerability, or the internal feature of a person that predisposes them to the development of psychopathy under certain conditions, such as starting college.1 Cognitive vulnerability can help predict who is more likely to experience depression in their lifetime.1

Notre Dame conducted a study of 206 college-aged freshman by having them fill out a survey within one month of moving onto campus.1 The survey measured their cognitive vulnerability and depressive symptoms.1 They completed the same survey at three months and six months.1

Some are Genetically Vulnerable to Depression

Results showed that those students who suffered from depressive symptoms were more likely to rub off on their roommates who had a high cognitive vulnerability.1 Also, those who had less of a depressive mindset were likely to make their high cognitively-vulnerable and depressed roommates feel more happy.1 Depressive symptoms increased at three months and doubled at six months for those who were cognitively vulnerable to depression.1



[1] Charles, M. (2013, April 21). Being Surrounded By Depressed People Will Make You Depressed. The Inquisitr. Retrieved April 24, 2013, from http://www.inquisitr.com/628402/being-surrounded-by-depressed-people-will-make-you-depressed/ depression.

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