Social science is in the midst of a moment of rapid growth, and it’s providing valuable insights into the complex relationship between social relationships and mental health.
Meads and wine have long been recognized as important social drivers, but this is the first time we’re seeing research from Meads that finds a relationship between the two.
Mead researchers from the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) and the University at Buffalo (UNB) recently conducted a meta-analysis of existing studies of alcohol and depression, focusing on studies that assessed depression and alcohol use.
This was the first study to look at how social context plays a role in depression and alcoholism.
“Our findings indicate that Meads are linked to an increased risk of developing depressive and alcoholism, and they may also lead to an increase in both symptoms and the number of depressive episodes,” lead author and UT Austin professor of sociology John O’Donnell said in a press release.
O’Connor’s findings also indicated that the association between alcohol and depressive symptoms was stronger in studies that measured depressive symptoms and alcohol.
“Although there is evidence that alcohol consumption is associated with a greater risk of depressive symptoms, the evidence that is available suggests that alcohol itself does not confer an increased rate of depressive symptomatology or comorbidity,” he said.
“We hypothesize that the degree to which Meads have been associated with depression may be a result of how social conditions are perceived and experienced in the context of consumption.”
O’Brien concluded that Mead is likely associated with an increased incidence of depression, and that the relationship is not mediated by other factors like social isolation.
In the study, he and his co-authors conducted a systematic review of published literature that compared the relationship between alcohol consumption and depression in participants of various socioeconomic and clinical backgrounds.
They found that the risk of depression and the risk for depression symptoms increased for participants who had been in a social environment that had a low amount of alcohol consumption.
This pattern was not found for participants with a high number of alcohol drinking or people who were more likely to have other psychological or physical disorders.
“Alcohol consumption is related to an elevated risk of major depression and anxiety disorders,” O’Briens researchers wrote in their press release, “and the risk is greatest for the minority of people who are depressed or anxious, which is why people who drink more are more likely than non-drinkers to experience depression.”
They also found that higher levels of alcohol were linked to higher levels in depressive symptoms.
“In fact, in our meta-analytic, we found that alcohol was associated with the greatest increase in the risk that participants would develop a major depressive episode,” O’donn said in the release.
“This finding is consistent with the idea that alcohol and other social environments may be associated with higher risk of suicide and other mental health problems.”
Meads’ reputation as a popular and inexpensive beverage has also helped it survive as a product.
It’s a good choice for social occasions, and the high alcohol content and relatively low price make it a viable alternative to a cocktail.
However, the fact that it can cause depression and addiction is a concern, and research has shown that the effects of alcohol on depression may vary widely depending on individual characteristics.
“Meads have an addictive nature, and some studies have suggested that some individuals have higher levels than others of a chemical called serotonergic substance-5,” O’sConnor said.
O’dons research team also found evidence that the amount of serotonin in the brain is linked to depressive symptoms when the researchers examined serotonin levels in the brains of people with depression, but not people who had not been diagnosed with depression.
“The more people who have been diagnosed, the greater their serotonin levels,” he explained.
O’sonn is working on a paper about the connection between alcohol use and depressive symptom levels that will be published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.