?just not TOO MUCH – Scientists think that a little sadness can be useful, but clinical depression is NOT. This is yet another reason why teenagers shouldn’t smoke: They could be setting themselves up for depression later in life.

Unlike some other psychologists, Ian Hickie does not think depression is over diagnosed, although many of them don’t know exactly where to draw the line between people who are sad for a reason and those who have a problem that needs serious medication. And he thinks that borderline depression may be the most dangerous condition of all.

In New Scientist, Jessica Marshall quotes Hickie as saying “Most of the suicides do not occur in the most severely depressed.”

Teenagers who smoke are more likely to become depressed as adults. Psychologist Carlos Bolanos found that nicotine given to adolescent rats induced a depression-like state characterized by a lack of pleasure and heightened sensitivity to stress in their adult lives. The findings suggest that the same thing may be true for humans.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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