A new study publishes the results of research on the influence of a good mood.
Hill, Griffiths and House, of of the University of Warwick in the UK studied how mood influenced a group of teenagers. They found that “while depression does not spread, healthy mood among friends is associated with significantly reduced risk of developing and increased chance of recovering from depression.”
This study tends to confirm the common clinical observation that depression grows with isolation. Their study demonstrates that having enough friends who are not depressed makes a difference.
The researches explain their findings:
Automatic transmission of mood between people has been demonstrated. Unconscious mimicry enhances social rapport, and those feeling positive towards the person with whom they are interacting socially are more likely to mimic, and so build rapport, and thus the opportunity for transmission of healthy mood. People who are (or have a tendency to be) depressed are less able to maintain a positive outlook from moment to moment, a deficit potentially compensated by interaction with healthy friends.
The researches having even just five healthy friends cuts is half the chance that a teenager will become depressed, and doubles the likelihood of successful recovery from depression.
This outcome reinforces what we know of the power of group process in recovery.
The LifeStar program breaks the isolation of both the person struggling with addiction and a partner who is struggling betrayal trauma. Shame accompanies both conditions and tends toward greater morbidity.
The LifeStar program breaks the isolation of the disease and creates an environment of hope. Our clients consistently report on the power of the group process. The research of Hill, Griffiths and House may help explain why.
Image by Joris Louwes