Just A Little Crush – Brief Article
Some people never get over their first love. In fact, a new study shows that your first romantic break-up–even if it took place back in high school–may trigger lifelong depression.
Sufferers of recurring bouts of depression, or major depressive disorder (MDD), can often trace the onset of their blues to a stressful life event that occurred shortly before the first episode hit. Scott Monroe, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, has discovered that for people whose depression struck during adolescence, the end of a romantic relationship tended to be that traumatic life event.
Monroe rated the depressive symptoms of close to 1,500 teenagers, then surveyed them about major life events that they had experienced in the past year, including a break-up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Of the teens that were clinically depressed or had been clinically depressed in the past, a whopping 46% reported splitting up with a partner during the year before their first bout of the blues.
Of course, his finding may not be as dramatic as it seems. Break-ups and make-ups are perfectly normal events in a teen’s life, Monroe emphasizes in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, and do not trigger depression in everyone. He believes that some people may have a predetermined vulnerability to romantic ups and downs–and to low spirits during those down periods. Still, being in love is far too rewarding for anyone to avoid romantic relationships, simply to skirt a case of the blues.
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