ZocdocAnswersIs it harmful for my son to have depressive friends?

Question

Is it harmful for my son to have depressive friends?

I am a 22 year old male and a lot of my friends are nerdy and depressed. Is it unhealthy for me to hang around them?

Answer

I think most people believe that who we hang out with is important for our overall attitude towards life, and certainly how successful we are in life's endeavors. These aspects of our lives can certainly indirectly effect your health. However, if you are asking if your friend's depressive attitudes will cause you to become depressed, then I would say the answer is probably no. Clinical depression is not contagious and thus, I don't think that you can become depressed by hanging out with depressive people. This is the kind of question that is appropriate for your primary care physician (family doctor or internal medicine doctor). Your doctor can discuss your general health, look for any signs of depression, and determine if you and your friends are doing anything that is unhealthy. Keep in mind that we end up being similar to the people we hang out with. If your friends are not involved in any mind stimulating activities are physical exercise, then you are less likely to get involved in these things too. If you have certain dreams or aspirations that have not been fulfilled, then you should hang out with people have similar dreams. This will get you closer to your goals. Good luck.

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