Depression Causes You to See Gray

Depression Causes You to See Gray

Written by Craig Rogers, Posted on , in Section Parenting On Purpose

Look on the bright side. Don’t be so blue. These are phrases that we hear people say daily when it appears that someone seems depressed. Throughout time, literature, art, and movies, have made reference to depression as “blackness” or “gray.”  Those that fight depression perceive that their vision is not as sharp as when they were not depressed, and that there is less visual contrast. This all seems anecdotal, but new research shows that those that have a problem with depression might actually see the world in a different color.

A study published by Dr. Emanuel Bubl of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at Albert-Ludwigs-University of Frieburg in Germany has determined that a depressed patient’s retina was unable to pick up visual differences in contrast.  This particular study used 80 patients, 20 patients had untreated depression, 20 patients had depression but were on medication, and 40 patients had no mental health issues. Participants were asked to set in front of a screen that cycled through different versions of a checkerboard pattern to pick up the subtle differences in contrast.  Those that suffered from depression didn’t pick up on all the contrast that the control group did.  

The good news from this study is that now psychologists can now have an objective way to diagnose depression. Instead of looking at symptoms both psychological and physical and subjectively coming up with a diagnosis.  Patients can now be diagnosed with more concrete evidence.  Instead of spending lots of money and time doing hours of analysis patients can now get a jump start on where they are at as far as depression goes and be able to seek proper treatment faster. Although this  is still in its infancy and needs more testing in order to be used clinically, it is very promising.   

The good news from this research is that those that do recover from depression also gain their full vision back.  If you feel that you are suffering from depression it is important to seek treatment and to not let it continue.  Everyone has moments of depression but no one should be forced to live with it.