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Ten scents that may help depressed people get out of negativity!

Who would have thought that some scents might improve the condition of depressed people and might save them from taking a lot of medication? In the latest research discoveries, scientists from the University of Pittsburgh have found that scents are more effective than words in stimulating positive memories, which may help people with depression to get out of negative thinking patterns.

The New York Post reported that scientists exposed 32 people between the ages of 18 and 55 suffering from major depressive disorder to 12 scents in opaque vials.

The scents included ground coffee, coconut oil, cumin powder, red wine, vanilla extract, cloves, shoe polish, orange essential oil, ketchup, and even the scent of Vicks VapoRub ointment. After smelling the vials, the neuroscientists asked the participants to recall a specific memory and whether it was good or bad.

Depressed people who smelled familiar scents were more likely to remember a specific memory or event, such as being in A café a week ago, in contrast to the more general memory of having gone to a café at some point in their life, smells trigger memories that seem more “vivid and real.”

“It was surprising to me that no one had thought to look at memory retrieval in people with depression using scent cues before,” Young added.

She explained that activating a part of the brain called the amygdala, which controls the “fight or fear” response, helps in remembering because the amygdala directs attention to specific events. Smells likely stimulate the amygdala through neural connections in the olfactory bulb, a mass of nerve tissue associated with the sense of smell.

She added that people with depression report difficulty remembering certain autobiographical memories. Because Young knew that smell could trigger happy memories in people who were not depressed, she decided to study smell and memory retrieval in people with depression.

Young confirmed that improving memory in people with depression can help them recover faster.

"If we improve memory, we can improve problem solving, emotion regulation and other functional problems that people with depression often experience," she revealed.

Young plans to use a brain scanner in the future to prove her theory that smells interact with the amygdala of depressed people.


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