Connecting to social grops alleviate depression

August 4, 2014

A new research study has shown that developing a strong connection to a social group can help adults to reduce their depressive symptoms and to prevent them from experiencing relapse. This adds on to past research that advocates for interpersonal relationships for improved mood and managing depressive symptoms.

That is, having a sense of group identity (i.e. belonging to a group) as well as engaging in interpersonal relationships will greatly improve your recovery from depression as well as reducing the likelihood of you experiencing depressed mood again.

Haslam, Cruwys and colleagues (in press Journal of Affective Disorders) from the University of Queensland had depressed and anxious patients join groups in the community that focused on activities such as sewing, yoga, sports, art and group therapy. Patients who reported that they did not identify strongly with the social group had approximately 50% likelihood of continued depression one month later. However, those who developed a stronger connection to the group reported that they felt supported by the group and that they were “in it together”. Less than one third of these connected patients continued to experience clinical symptoms of depressed mood.

Know what to do to reduce depressive symptoms? Connect in with your community! It is not only important to relate to other people on an interpersonal level but also to join a group and develop a sense of group identity.