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Apr 11

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Can Your Depression Be Contagious?

Can Your Depression Be Contagious?

Can Your Depression Be Contagious?

Depression is defined as a psychological and emotional condition, so it is not seen as a virus or bacteria that can spread to other people. However, Dr. Susan Heitler believes that depression can be contagious in some cases. It is possible for a depressed spouse to make his loved ones feel anxious and down, but the issue is complex.  

The Common Cold of Mental Illness

Dr. Ellen Hendriksen shares that depression is sometimes called the common cold of mental illness because it can be contagious. Dr. Susan Heitler agrees, and both medical professionals point out that you can be affected by a loved one’s depression in multiple ways.

Human beings are easily influenced by others, and you know that peer pressure is real. However, most people do not think that someone else’s state of mind can affect them. The research shows that it can, but the extent of the influence depends on several factors.

Issues to Consider

Whether you become depressed or are able to avoid it, the problem frequently hinges on your own mental state and personal issues. If you are already susceptible to depression and have a history of mental health problems, then you are more likely to become depressed in the presence of another person who is suffering from the same condition. If you are under an enormous amount of stress or dealing with other problems, then you are more vulnerable to depression.

One study found that college students who lived in a dorm room with a person prone to depression were more likely to become depressed too. This means that being in close quarters with someone who is suffering from mental health problems increases your chances of also getting down with depressive feelings.

It is important to recognize that depression can affect others moods. This is why it is crucial to seek help and get treatment before the problem becomes worse.

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3 comments

  1. 1
    Deborah D

    Such an interesting post.

  2. 2
    Linda Manns Linneman

    Other peoples attitudes and mental health problems can really affect us. I love this article. So true

    1. 2.1
      Colleen

      Thank you Linda!

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