Strong Connection to Social Groups may Lower Clinical Depression
A recent study suggests that clinically depressed individuals may benefit from close social connections, including making new friends and general group activities.
For the experiment, researchers conducted two studies based on patients diagnosed with depression and/or anxiety. All participants were assigned either to join a community group with activities, including different crafts or sports, or a group therapy session at a psychiatric hospital.
Patients then filled out questionnaires discussing their activity and feelings. For those who did not find comfort in social group activities, they showed a 50 percent increased likelihood of continued depression a month later. However, less than a third of those who developed a stronger connection to their group along with the ability to identify its members as “us” instead of “them” did not meet the criteria for clinical depression.
Researchers note that these findings show how being in a supportive community can help depressed individuals cope better with issues as they are working with others going through similar problems.
“We were able to find clear evidence that joining groups, and coming to identify with them, can alleviate depression,” lead author Alexander Haslam, a member of Canadian Institute for Advanced Research’s Social Interactions, Identity & Well-Being (SIIWB) program, said in a news release. “Our work shows that the ‘group’ aspect of social interaction is critical.”
“The group is a major source of encouragement, but it has also helped to hone our questions in important ways – so that we have asked the right questions and looked in the right places for answers,” Haslam concluded, via the release.
The findings are published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.
Strong Connection to Social Groups may Lower Clinical Depression by Kathleen Lees
Published in Science World Report, First Posted: Mar 19, 2014 11:53 PM EDT
Read the original article here: http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/13581/20140319/strong-connection-to-social-groups-may-lower-clinical-depression.htm
Websites Related to Clinical Depression:
- HelpGuide.org: Dealing with Depression
- NHS Choices – Clinical Depression
- Depression Treatment in Manchester
- Confidence Building Manchester
Original article: By Kathleen Lees. Published in Science World Report. Accessed: 20th March 2014. Strong Connection to Social Groups may Lower Clinical Depression.