Photo by Enrique Ramos Lopez via iStock
This research explores how human evolution has shaped mental health with a focus on depression. From an evolutionary perspective, certain traits have been passed on from generation to generation because they enhanced our ability to reproduce and pass on genes in the environments in which humans evolved.
Fast-forward to present-day, where certain responses like hyper-vigilance may result in poorer health outcomes in our current environment, where social and work-related stress are more common. Through this lens, researchers suspect one of the reasons depression evolved is because it signaled that an individual was at a risk of failing to fulfill evolution’s mandates, such as reproduction, group belonging, safety and survival.