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  • 6/5/2012

Feeling of guilt plays role in depression: study


Researchers at the University of Manchester have found that feelings of guilt or self-blame play a role in depression.

The researching team employed Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to scan the brains of people who have a history of depression and a control group of people who had never suffered from depression. People in both groups were then asked to think they acted badly toward their close friend and then explain their feelings about their wrongdoings.

Unlike the participants in the control group, those with a history of depression showed different reaction in their brain regions connected with guilt and knowledge of socially acceptable behavior, the study issued in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry revealed.

"For the first time, we chart the regions of the brain that interact to link detailed knowledge about socially appropriate behaviour -- the anterior temporal lobe -- with feelings of guilt -- the subgenual region of the brain -- in people who are prone to depression," Dr Roland Zahn of the research team said in a university press release.

For those people who have a history of depression, these regions of brain do not join as strongly as in people who have never suffered from depression.

Zahn stressed that the “decoupling”‌ took place only when people with a history of depression blame themselves or feel guilty, and it never occurred when they blamed others or felt angry.

“This could reflect a lack of access to details about what exactly was inappropriate about their behavior when feeling guilty, thereby extending guilt to things they are not responsible for and feeling guilty for everything,”‌ he added.

The study has apparently presented evidence of brain mechanisms to back the ideas of Austrian psychiatrist Sigmund Freud who believed that self blame and guilt play an important role in depression.

Source: presstv.com

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