An article that seems to bear NO relation to my experiences of depression. What do others think?
I have suffered from depression my entire adult life. For me, this mental state causes unimportant issues to "seem" important. Depressed people tend to be less symptomatic when engaged, but so does everyone. If there is an evolutionary benefit to depressive illness I would look to increased creative expression. There is an unusually high number of artists, writers, actors, musicians who suffer from mood disorder.
Agreed. What suprises me is the article's claim that depression aids problem-solving. I've always felt the opposite: when depressed, I'm unable to find a solution to the simplest thing. Shouldn't feel suprised really. Experts rarely have any comprehension of reality.
My depression stymies problem solving too. I am a psychologist, but I don't think one can truly understand a clinically depressed mental state without experiencing it. I can have knowledge of psychosis, but having never experienced it, I have to presume my understanding of the psychotic state is peripheral.
Personally, I experienced two distinct types of depression. I often experienced depression as a child, teenager, as wife and mother. These bouts came when I could find no options to get out of the rut I was in. I felt caught, helpless and hopeless in an abusive marriage.
A failed marriage, taking on responsibility of raising three children alone when they were ten years old, and to the present day, I have depressions but they are different. I have options. When I am depressed I know there is something to which I need to attend. It may be something I am doing, or it may be something the children are doing. Now that they are grown and all three approaching 49 years old, and they have children of their own, their problems are not mine to solve; I function as a sounding board.
I do have depressions now, at 76 years old, but they usually involve my absolute fury over the political, economic, and religious condition of our nation. I am a progressive, liberal, anti-theist and if voters would just stop and think, they would realize choices made by the populous create the problems we experience.
My depressions lift when I write about the reasons I disagree with political, economic and religious issues. Defining my concerns in clear, concrete, descriptive terms relieves my depressions even as it does not change the outrageous growing gap between rich and poor, the disgusting short sightedness of political discourse, and my revulsion at dependent, passive, subordinate nature of religious dogma.
The only thing this review of the study convinced me of was that 5HT1A is important in some types of problem solving. This is no way convinced me that long term clinical depression has any benefit. The authors totally skip over the obsessive aspect of a lot of depressive rumination: you're obsessing over seemingly insurmountable details of problems, not on how to solve those problems. My problems, social and otherwise, get worse when I'm depressed, not better.
Nice of them to try to make me feel better, but seriously, save it. It smacks of the myth of people who are blind over-developing other senses to compensate. No such thing happens; it's just a way for sighted people to feel better about being around people who can't see. Ditto for the idea that depressed people are more "creative" or constructively "introspective".
Exactly, Sarah. Bloody well put!
Depression as an adaptation to deal with complex social problems sounds plausible, at least.