The Benefits Of Depression

03/28/2008 02:46am ET | Updated November 17, 2011

Earlier this week British researchers made headlines with their report that antidepressants are for the most part ineffective. Read our coverage of this story here.

But in a fascinating development, now researchers point to growing evidence that depression might actually be good for you:

What depressed the cavemen? It may strike us as a particularly modern malaise for a time-poor, fast-paced society but a new reappraisal of depression suggests it has always been around.

A leading psychiatrist says that depression is not a human defect at all, but a defence mechanism that in its mild and moderate forms can force a healthy reassessment of personal circumstances.

Dr Paul Keedwell, an expert on mood disorders at the Institute of Psychiatry, argues all people are vulnerable to depression in the face of stress to varying degrees, and always have been.

The fact it has survived so long - and not been eradicated by evolution - indicates it has helped the human race become stronger.

Do you agree? Tell us below.