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Can physical contact help with depression?

I've heard that some people, especially older adults can be more depressed if they never experience physical touch. Is this true?

Asked 13 years ago by Gabrielle
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Athena
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Posted 13 years ago

Humans were meant to have physical contact. Studies show that babies who are held develop faster and have healthier weights (and other measures of health) than babies who aren't held as much. Older adults who have some sort of touch in their lives also tend to report being happier and on average, live longer than those who do not. Similarly, it can be really curtail for some people to have physical touch in their lives not only to avoid depression, but to be truly happy. If you are lacking touch, try hugging friends when you see them, and consider volunteering at a nursing home or in a child's care facility; don't overstep your bounds, but older persons and younger children are often more open to touch-it could be rewarding for both of you!

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Posted 2 years ago

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