How fragrances can help you get out of depression

How fragrances can help you get out of depression
How fragrances can help you get out of depression

Falling into depression is a big blow that you cannot simply heal from ‘by meditating more’ or recover from with a few therapy sessions. No, having depression is a serious matter and has different degrees, and therefore also different ways to heal from it. A recent study now shows that certain familiar scents can help promote the recovery process from depression. What’s up with that?

In the Netherlands, one in five adults will experience depression at some point. Those figures are not wrong, because depression is a serious matter that turns your life upside down. Fortunately it will be talking about mental health an increasingly smaller one taboo. The more we can talk about it, the more space there will be for it in our society. And so does a suitable solution. What does this new research say?

Odors and depression

Smelling familiar scents can help depressed people with their recovery, according to this recent study. The researchers found that familiar smells can have a greater impact on recovery from depression than words do.

The study, which was conducted by the research team of the University by Pittsburgh School of Medicineshows that familiar smells make it easier to recall certain positive memories that can then help people with depression in their recovery.

In other words: scents from the past can help depressed people get out of their negative thoughts.

Memories of depressed people

“Not that depressed people no longer have memories, but it is more difficult for them to access them,” said one of the senior authors of the study Kymberly Young. The researcher was therefore very surprised that no one had previously thought of studying the link between depression and memory.

The study examined 32 people with clinical depression. Each depressed person was given 24 glass vials containing known odor samples nice to meet you, neutral or unpleasant goods. After smelling the bottle, participants were asked to recall a specific memory from their lives in response to the signal. That experiment was then described with 24 words describing each odor. What turned out?

More specific positive memories through smell

The researchers noticed that people with depression were able to retrieve memories more easily when they received odor signals compared to word signals. About 68 percent of participants were able to recall specific memories in response to odors, as opposed to 52 percent of people who were able to recall specific memories for word cues.

So scent memories apparently became more lively experience memories that are evoked with words, how interesting is that? Moreover, the positive memories were those brought back by a smell more specific than the memories that came up through a story.

“Improving memory could ultimately improve emotion regulation and functional problems in people with depression,” Young said. Although this study offers positive results when it comes to recovery from depression, the study was still relatively small and therefore further research into the subject will need to be done. Doubtless to be continued!

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Tags: fragrances depression


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