6. After combing through the health records of 1.3 million people over 10 years, researchers found an unusual link between cat bites and depression.
Over 41% of those who showed up at the hospital for cat bites were also treated for depression at some point, and a staggering 86% of them were women. The study also suggests that there’s a 50% chance that you will be diagnosed with depression at some point if you are a woman who’s been bitten by a cat. Researchers guess that there’s a possibility that depressed people are more likely to own cats and thus have a higher likelihood to be bitten than non-owners. Another possibility suggests that people who are depressed act in ways that make cats more likely to bite them. Many domestic animals like dogs, horses and pigs are known to respond to their owner’s gestures and mannerisms.(source)
7. Brazilian researchers concluded that Ayahuasca, a psychedelic drink used for centuries in healing ceremonies, could be a possible treatment for depression.
The researchers conducted a pilot study of a potential therapeutic benefit for Ayahuasca, a South American plant-based brew. The study included six volunteers and no placebo group, but the scientists say that the drink began to reduce depression in the subjects within hours and the effect persisted three weeks later. Ayahuasca may contain compounds that alter the neurotransmitter serotonin’s concentration in the brain – the same effect that antidepressants aim to achieve.(source)
8. A study conducted by Columbia University shows that spirituality and religion may protect against depression by thickening the brain cortex.
A study conducted by professor Lisa Miller at Teachers College, Columbia University revealed that regular meditation or other spiritual or religious practice is associated with the thickening of the cerebral cortex. It involved 103 adults at high and low risk of depression based on their family history. Each subject was asked their stance on religion and spirituality. When brain MRIs were conducted on them, they discovered that subjects who valued religion or spirituality more had thicker brain cortices. These were also found in exactly the same brain regions that had shown thinning in people who had a higher risk of developing depression.(source)
9. Research conducted on comedians have shown they are usually more depressed than an average person.
Academicians from the University of Oxford conducted a research into comedians’ psychological traits by studying personality questionnaires filled in by 523 comedians (404 men and 119 women) from the UK, US, and Australia. Gordon Claridge, professor at the University of Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology said:
“On the one hand, they were rather introverted, depressive, rather schizoid, you might say. And on the other hand, they were rather extroverted and manic. Possibly the comedy – the extroverted side – is a way of dealing with the depressive side. Of course, this is not true of all comedians.”
Dr. Nick Maguire of University of Southampton opines that there may be a connection between depression and comedy (albeit not a strong one), in the sense that laughing and inciting laughter in people could be used as a method to cope with the inner turmoil.(source)
10. According to a study, people who spend a lot of time on the internet are more likely to be depressed, lonely, and mentally unstable.
Despite accounting for other varying factors, it was observed that the more social media one used, the more likely they were to suffer from depression. University of Gothenburg’s researchers studied the online habits of more than 4,100 Swedish men and women between the ages of 20 and 24 over a year and found that those who are constantly glued to their screens develop stress, depression, and sleeping disorders much more easily than those who don’t. Sara Thomee, the lead author of the study, said:
“It was easy to spend more time than planned at the computer (e.g., working, gaming, or chatting), and this tended to lead to time pressure, neglect of other activities and personal needs (such as social interaction, sleep, physical activity), as well as bad ergonomics, and mental overload.”