Journal article

Darwinian models of depression: A review of evolutionary accounts of mood and mood disorders

Nicholas B Allen, Paul BT Badcock

PROGRESS IN NEURO-PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY | PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD | Published : 2006

Abstract

Over the last ten years, there has been increased interest in the evolutionary origins of depressive phenomena. The current article provides a review of the major schools of thought that have emerged in this area. First, we consider important Darwinian explanations of depressed mood, including an integrative social risk hypothesis recently proposed by the authors. According to the social risk hypothesis, depression represents an adaptive response to the perceived threat of exclusion from important social relationships that, over the course of evolution, have been critical to maintaining an individual's fitness prospects. We argue, moreover, that in the ancestral environment, depression minim..

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