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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Depression's "upside"

Occasionally, the comment is made that depression may have a "upside." Depression in its clinical forms is usually destructive, sometimes disabling and dangerous, but in other of its manifestations it may be adaptive (e.g. bereavement). An interesting article has emerged on this topic, here is the link. This is actually a follow-up comment on the NY Times article cited below.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Does Depression have an Upside?

A so called "teleological" problem concerning depression asks the question "why does it exist." Various authors have long postulated that depression, at least in its milder forms must serve some purpose. In DSM-IV there is diagnostic exclusion criterion for bereavement, recognizing that in circumstances of loss depression is not necessarily "abnormal." Darwin made some interesting observations on this point in relation to his own struggle with health. These are summarized in a recent NY Times article, available here.