‘Cuddle Hormone’ Could Help Depression Sufferers to Seek Support

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Scientists believe that treating those in distress with oxytocin, a hormone linked to emotional bonding in childbirth and breastfeeding, could help to stop them withdrawing from the help of their friends and family.

New research has shown that the hormone can increase people’s trust in others following social rejection.

….Dr Mark Ellenbogen, from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, who carried out the study, said: “That means that instead of the traditional ‘fight or flight’ response to social conflict, where people get revved up to respond to a challenge or run away from it, oxytocin may promote the ‘tend and befriend’ response, where people reach out to others for support after a stressful event.

“That can, in turn, strengthen social bonds and may be a healthier way to cope.”

People with depression might benefit in particular from being given oxytocin because they naturally tend to withdraw even though seeking help can aid their recovery.

by Sam Marsden, The Telegraph

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