Wednesday, April 06, 2011

This World Is a Comedy to Those That Think, a Tragedy to Those That Feel

Nancy Shute:

Teenagers are more likely to be depressed if they spend a lot of time listening to music, while teens who read a lot are less depressed, according to new research.

...By contrast, teenagers who read were far less likely to be diagnosed with depression. They were also far less common. Just 0.2 percent of the teenagers said, they were reading a book, magazine or newspaper. The teenagers who read the most were one-tenth as likely to be depressed as the ones who read the least.

Primack figures that may be because reading is far less passive than watching TV or listening to music. "You really have to engage a lot of your brain" when you read, he notes. "It may be that people who are depressed just can't gather enough energy to do that type or thing."

I've always read and listened to music to an extreme degree, and I've been melancholic my whole life, so I'm not sure how I would fit in with these findings. As for music listening, I would guess that people who are in touch with their emotions to such an extent are more likely to feel depressed, especially during those tumultuous adolescent years. But reading also leads to thinking, and hasn't melancholy been described as the thinking person's disease?


  1. Brian M10:49 AM

    Dittos. But I read a lot, too.

    There is no discussion of type/genre of music here, though? Wouldn't that make a difference? I mean...listening to My Dying Bride versus happy dance music would be a factor, too, no?

  2. I think there are counterexamples. Anyway, nobody doesn't think and feel. I consider not being depressed a challenge that can be met by thinking (of how to have fun, or at least a not too unpleasant time). I think being depressed is something you are doing, or allowing to happen, as much as something that is happening to you.