Social Support Protects Against Depression
Tender loving care and supportfrom friends and family helpward off depression in women,compared with men. For thestudy, 1057 opposite-sex twinpairs were asked how muchthey felt family and friends listenedto them, understood theirfeelings, and helped them ifthey needed it. The participantswere contacted at least 1 yearlater to determine if depressionwas an issue.
The researchers discoveredthat women who had little socialsupport had a higher risk ofdepression. In men, the perceptionof social support had littleinfluence on men's risk ofdepression. The findings, reportedin the American Journalof Psychiatry (February 2005),also showed that womenreported higher levels of socialsupport, compared with men.Yet, men felt more supported bytheir spouses and twins.