Researchers Say Laughter Can Help Treat Depression

Learn how I beat Depression

Depression is common these days and affects around 1 in 4 of the population and if you are diagnosed with depression then you’re likely to be offered anti-depressants which may help, but you also might have to suffer some unpleasant side effects too.

Then again you may be offered some form of psychotherapy which might also work, but unfortunately, there’s either a long waiting list to see a psychotherapist, or there isn’t one available, or you have to pay a small fortune to see one privately.

Now though, an Italian researcher and his colleagues have come up with a possible treatment for depression that is totally free, comes with very positive side effects, and you can have it whenever you want, and it is laughter.

What the researchers are saying is first of all that laughter is a very common behaviour but not many studies have been done to date which closely examines the nature of laughter.

It has already been established that the cortical and subcortical regions of the brain are involved in laughter and that laughter has an impact on the body’s equilibrium, particularly on the neuroendocrine and immune systems.

In their abstract, the researchers also referred to previous evidence that reduction of laughter frequency is a symptom of depression and that an increase in the frequency of laughter could be used as a marker of clinical improvement.

It is also already known that laughter can improve mood directly and can lessen the negative effects of stressful events on psychological well being so the researchers are saying:

“It is possible that the stimulation of particular cerebral regions, involved in depression pathogenesis, and the normalisation of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenocortical system dysfunctions, both mediated by laughter, can counteract efficiently depressive symptoms”.

The researchers also mention that the favourable effects of laughter on social relationships and physical health may have a role in influencing the ability of depressed patients to face their condition.

Now we’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine and now it looks like that might be true even where depression is concerned. There’s no doubt, a good old belly laugh on a regular basis does wonders for our mood.

Fonzi L, Matteucci G, and Bersani G from Sapienza University in Rome, published their report on how laughter can be effective in the treatment of depression in the February edition of Rivista di Psichiatria

Learn how I beat Depression

1 Comment

  1. Fighting Depression
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the great article! People have to know there are other options to treat depression not only pills. I use home remedies and herbs for almost everything, including depression. Lattely discovered Rosemary and Sage tea – amaizing results!

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