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A 49-year-old member asked:

Could depression rub off on other people?

4 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 43 years experience
Not directly: Depression is not a contagious illness like infections are. However, being around a depressed person can feel depleting and frustrating at times. If you are raised by depressed parents, you may unconsciously learn certain thought and behavior patterns that lead to depression, simply because children are like "sponges" in their early learning. You may need outside influences to counter this.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
depression: People's depressive symptoms can wear off on others but that does not mean it causes them to develop a major depression. If the depression person is needy, negative, guarded, isolative, etc- all those things can effect those around them.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Andrew Berry
Clinical Psychology 15 years experience
Depression: Very much so! In my opinion, emotions can be contagious just like germs or viruses. When a person is around negativity and sadness long enough, that person is at a higher risk for becoming negative and sad him or herself.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 50 years experience
Agree with Dr. P: Depression is not contagious like an infection but being around negative people does not help. Have a healthy diet, exercise 30 minutes/day, drink plenty of water daily so your urine is mostly colorless, have safe sex, no tobacco alcohol weed or street drugs. For nutrition: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/. Wish you good health!
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Nov 16, 2020

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