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Can Depression Be Contagious?

Reviewed by
MBBS, MD Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Delhi  •  17years experience
Can Depression Be Contagious?

Depression or clinical depression is a very common, yet serious mental disorder. It causes extreme symptoms that impact how you feel, think, and handle everyday activities, for example, sleeping, eating or working. One must demonstrate symptoms for at least two weeks to be diagnosed with depression.

Psychological weakness to depression is a tendency to concentrate on one's negative state of mind and to think about it regularly. It appears to have a contagious impact, where this vulnerability to depression can rub off and make you more prone to create depressive side effects yourself. Here are a few ways in which depression can be contagious:

  1. The negative psychological group of three: There are three fields in which depressive thinking is negative. Discouraged people see themselves, others and their future through dim and dark glasses. Eventually, you start to agree with the person undergoing depression. Their bad mood can bring you down to their emotional level.
  2. Negative energy: Just walking into the same room as the person in depression can sink your energy levels. Now and again you avoid conversations with them. You might feel like your positivity is being drawn out which also makes you vulnerable.
  3. Being socially isolated: The depressed patient might never want to leave the house and prefers to stay in, alone. There are times when the person that is with them, tends to isolate himself or herself, as well. Taking them to social gatherings can be a challenge. Other people in the patient’s life tend to stay away since the dark cloud tends to appear contagious to them also.
  4. Learned defenselessness: There is a depressive phenomenon named "learned powerlessness." When individuals are genuinely depressed, attempting to do anything feels overwhelming. For instance, for quite a long time, one might have shared household responsibilities, In the end, however, one tends to have forgotten his capacity and responsibility to see what should have been done and deal with it. When this pressure is put on the other person, he or she feels tense and is more prone and vulnerable to depression.
  5. Submissive and dominant interactions: An episode of depression and misery is usually activated by a prevailing dominant-submissive interaction. This may include being told what to do or a decision in which someone is dominated and tends to give up on what he or she wanted. For instance, your hostile relation with your boss gets you fired. This can act as a trigger to your already existing negative environment.

Since depression is a very common mental disorder, one should look out for signs and symptoms in themselves as well as around them. For patients undergoing depression, it is beneficial to see a psychiatrist or a therapist to vent out their negative emotions since therapists are trained to handle such an environment.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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