Fair and just people more prone to depression, says study

Fair and just people more prone to depression, says study

Depression is a mental problem that can strike anyone, irrespective of the age, gender, ethnicity and social standing. However, certain people are more vulnerable to the condition because of certain risk factors. A recent research by the Rutgers University has indicated that the nature of caring more about others can make one more susceptible to suffer from depression.

The study, published in the Nature Human Behavior in October 2017, said that a certain section of people, who are sensitive toward unfair and unjust behavior shown by people, are more prone to develop symptoms of depression compared to others. The survey was conducted on 350 participants to determine their tendency to depression. The researchers first conducted a personality test, followed by a survey to identify if they were more “prosocial” or “individualist.”

Is it a cul-de-sac for pro-socials?

In the second stage, the participants were made to play a game involving money, during which, particular areas of their brains were monitored and their reactions to different situations noted. The analysis at this stage along with a survey taken up after a year helped them conclude that people who rejected unfair means and belonged to the prosocial group, exhibited deeper signs of depression.

However, critics of the study are not in favor of furnishing generalized statements on the basis of a limited sample of brains. They said that the study did not express the fact that if one has a caring nature, one is headed toward depression. They said that there are plenty of other higher-order brain regions involved in depression, even though the average pro-social may have a sensitive amygdala. Another point to be noted is the fact that the participants in the study were in the age-group of 18 to 26 and the study analyzed those parts of the brain that do not fully mature until around age 26.

The Scientific American’s Jack Turban speaks positively for the benefit of the pro-socials, when he writes that “therapy could be a good shot at learning to keep those prosocial attitudes without becoming depressed.”

One needs to be vigilant to read the symptoms of depression in order to identify the problem at the earliest. Timely treatment can help overcome the problem, though many people shy away from seeking help due to the associated stigma. Some of the common symptoms of depression are:

  • Sense of sadness and feeling low most of the time
  • Disinterest and finding it difficult to complete daily chores
  • Inability to enjoy things that were interesting earlier
  • Difficulty in concentration, thinking or making decisions
  • Loss of self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Negative thought about self, life and future
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Feeling guilty and blaming oneself for past failures; feeling unworthy
  • Frequently absent from work or being unable to work
  • Feeling hopeless about future
  • Disturbed sleep or unable to sleep
  • Lack of interest in sex/sexual activity
  • Experiencing body aches like headaches, neck pain, or cramps
  • Thoughts about self-harm, suicide or death

Road ahead

It must be kept in mind that depression is not a sign of weakness, nor it is a mental instability. It is an illness that can be treated through timely intervention. Thus, it is important to identify the symptoms and take action accordingly. At the Depression Treatment Helpline, we can help you find depression help centers and residential programs for depression that are instrumental in providing treatment plans for depression. If you or someone you know is grappling with depression and is in need of effective treatment plan for depression, call our 24/7 helpline number (866) 619-7729 or chat online for the best advice.