Science

Replaying An Argument In Your Head Could Help Reduce Depression

By Christie Abagon , Dec 26, 2016 06:25 PM EST

Depression affects 1 in 10 American adults. The number of patients diagnosed increases by about 20 percent every year. A new study shows just how people can possibly avoid being depressed.

University of Exeter researchers found that going over the details of argument and remembering what had happened exactly helps people cope with the event, and that replaying the details of shouting matches and disagreements could be therapeutic, iNews said.

Psychologists Usually An Increase In Depression Referrals During The Holidays

According to psychologists, replaying an argument in your head helps stave off feelings of self-doubt and even depression. This timely advice is released during the holidays, a period where scientists see an increase in depression referrals.

Professor Ed Watkins, professor at the University of Exeter's Mood Disorder Clinic, their study found an improvement in mental health of people who learn to recall details of emotional incident, like how and where it happened. They were able to deal with similar stresses in the future and stopped them from becoming very upset about past issues.

People Who Are Able To Think About Specific Sensory Details Are More 'Emotionally Resilient'

The study, according to Shropshire Star, involved a six-week trial with patients who suffer from clinical depression. The patients were trained how to spot warning signs for stress, review the stressful situations that they had been in while particularly focusing on what could be seen, heard, felt, smelled and the sequence of the argument.

Researchers found that the trial reduced symptoms of depression, even outperforming the usual depression treatment. According to Prof Watkins, they found that when people are able to let themselves think about the specific sensory details, context and sequence of an emotional event, including how the argument unfolded, they were more "emotionally resilient" to unexpected stressors.

"Similar studies showed that when people with depression are encouraged to focus on how an upsetting event happened and how it unfolded it improved their ability to solve problems such as arguing with their partner, and with repeated practice, this can in fact hasten recovery out of depression itself," Prof Watkins added.

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