3 surprising effects of depression
Depression is an endemic malady and has some curious effects on our personality.
The depression is perhaps the most widely recognized psychopathology with the highest prevalence rates, along with others such as anxiety-related disorders.
It is estimated that, in the Kingdom of Spain alone, 25% of the population suffers from some disorder. 25% of the population suffers from a depressive disorder, and a fifth of these suffer from depression.and one fifth of these people suffer from a serious disorder.
Discovering the curious effects of depression
However, beyond the lack of hope, sadness, lack of energy and asthenia, the consequences of depression are also developed in other areas causing really curious changes in our personality and cognition in our personality and cognition.
1. Depression compresses the size of the brain
Research conducted by scientists at Yale University found that depression can lead to a reduction in brain volume. depression can generate a reduction of brain volumebecause the neurons in some regions are smaller in size and lose density. Consequently, neuronal connections are altered. To reach this conclusion, the brain tissue of people with and without depression was studied comparatively.
It appears that this effect is due to the GATA1a protein that contributes to the regulation of the transcription of genetic material and which is activated in the brains of people affected by depression.
GATA1 inhibits the expression of some of the genotypes involved in the construction of synaptic connections, affecting the dimensions and complexity of the dendrites, basic agents for synapses to occur. This loss of volume not only causes alterations in the subject's affectivity and cognitive capacity, but also causes a decrease in the mass of the prefrontal cortex, whose function is to facilitate decision making, impulse control and emotional management.
2. Depression obfuscates memories
A study conducted at Brigham Young University revealed that depressive disorders have the effect of blurring memories.. For years now, depression has been linked to a defective memory. defective memorybut the mechanism causing this phenomenon was unknown.
The study recruited subjects diagnosed with depressive conditions, and others without psychopathological conditions. The subjects were exposed to a series of objects that appeared on a screen. Later, they were presented with the same objects, and they had to indicate if they had seen them before, if any object resembled one they had seen before, or if it was a new object unrelated to those seen before.
After studying the results, the researchers noticed that the subjects with depression had a greater tendency to confuse some objects, pointing them out as similar to others that had appeared before. This suggests that depression does not cause amnesia but rather a decrease in the accuracy of details. It could be said that people with depression have a less skilled, fuzzy memory, and therefore cannot remember some details.
3. Depression sharpens the perception of time
Although depression is always perceived as something purely negative, this third point points out a small psychophysiological advantage. A research carried out at the University of Hertfordshire found that depressed people enjoy more accurate time perception than non-depressed people.
The research recruited subjects with moderate depression, and others with no diagnosed disorder. Both groups were asked to listen to five tones ranging in duration from 5 to 60 seconds, and were then asked to remember a number (a disruptive task), and then to give as close an approximation as possible of the duration of each tone.
It was surprising to see that, almost without exception, the people without depression estimated the time of the tones exceeding the actual time, while, on the other hand, the people with depression were much better at estimating the time.
The reason for this could be found in a controversial concept called "depressive realism". Depressive realism holds that people with depression are unaffected by positive and optimistic expectations that do alter the perception of reality in people who do not suffer from depression.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)