Friday, August 28, 2009


Scientific American has a fascinating article on the possible evolutionary roots of depression online. It makes an interesting case, but I have to say that the following paragraph doesn't jive with my personal experiences:
So what could be so useful about depression? Depressed people often think intensely about their problems. These thoughts are called ruminations; they are persistent and depressed people have difficulty thinking about anything else. Numerous studies have also shown that this thinking style is often highly analytical. They dwell on a complex problem, breaking it down into smaller components, which are considered one at a time.
I've found that the depressive periods in my life are precisely the times when my problems seem most overwhelming, and I'm least able to break them down into smaller, more manageable component issues. Granted, I've developed a mechanism to lift myself out of such ruts, which is to pick a small, easily handled problem and go about solving it - but I had to consciously develop this method as a way of combating depression. It didn't come bundled with the package. Anecdotally, it seems as if most of the people I know are the same. Does anyone have a different take?

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