New study reveals characteristic that permanently accompanies those who recover from depression
People recovering from depression spend more time processing negative information than positive information, a new study has found.
This puts them at risk for relapse after recovering from a major depressive episode.
"Our findings suggest that people with a history of depression spend more time processing negative information, such as sad faces, than positive information, such as happy faces, and that this difference is greater compared to healthy people with no history ,” said Alainna Wen, a researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles' Center for Anxiety and Depression Research.
The recurrence rate of major depressive disorder is high: more than 50 percent of individuals will experience multiple subsequent episodes, the authors said.
Researchers analyzed 44 studies involving more than 2,000 people who had a history of major depressive disorder and published their findings in the Journal of Psychopathology and Clinical Science.
Compared to healthy individuals, individuals who have had a major depressive episode had less control over the information they processed and may have more negative moods and thoughts. They were also slower than healthy individuals in responding to stimuli.
How many people in Europe suffer from depression?
Around 7.2 percent of people in the European Union suffer from chronic depression, according to the latest figures from Eurostat.
Among European countries, Portugal had the highest proportion of the population reporting chronic depression while Romania had the lowest proportion reporting depression.