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The Social Competition Hypothesis of Depression

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

John Price*
Affiliation:
Odintune Place, Plumpton, E. Sussex, BN7 3AN
Leon Sloman
Affiliation:
Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, Toronto, Canada
Russell Gardner Jr
Affiliation:
University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, USA
Paul Gilbert
Affiliation:
Derby University
Peter Rohde
Affiliation:
53 Harley Street, London W1N 1DD
*
Department of Psychiatry, Wellington School of Medicine, Wellington, New Zealand

Abstract

Depressive personality and depressive illness are examined from an evolutionary adaptationist standpoint. It is postulated that the depressive state evolved in relation to social competition, as an unconscious, involuntary losing strategy, enabling the individual to accept defeat in ritual agonistic encounters and to accommodate to what would otherwise be unacceptably low social rank.

Type
Peer Review
Copyright
Copyright © 1994 The Royal College of Psychiatrists 

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