Depressive Thinking Can Be Contageous


Researchers studying a group of college students found that certain types of depressive thinking can spread from close-living roommates like a lingering flu.


Although many people see depression as a chemical imbalance in the brain, scientists say social context and the way you see yourself and the world can be critical in causing and sustaining the illness, which affects around 10% of college-age adults.


Although this study was conducted with, “…108 incoming college freshmen at a private university in the Midwest, including 42 men with male roommates and 66 women with female roommates randomly assigned by the college,” I’ve seen this dynamic in action in a workplace that was comprised of adults, mostly over the age of 50, all threatened with an imminent, massive lay-off.  The article cites the Rumination prone personality type as being the more contagious rather than the Hopelessness brand, but I’ll argue any day that both are just as viral.

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Makes sense, doesn’t it? I mean, if women living together have their menstrual cycles synchronize, wouldn’t it make sense that large numbers of people in a bum-out situation would bum out all together? I’m sure there’s a tipping point between situation, individual biochemistry, and pheromones that can contribute to a collective slide. Very interesting, thanks for posting this.

This plays right into my husband (soon to be X) having me all tied up in my head about my on depressive matters, when the day after I claimed the ‘D’ word ~ I saw how my world was knotted up in His depression ..not souch mine after all

I’m not sure why it’s taken this long to mount a formal study and get various media pieces floating around about the fact people feed off of each other. I hope you find peace now that your world will be yours again. Good luck!


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