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Depression An Evolutionary Process

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Basic Books Publishing Company
The Florida Channel
USF psychology professor, Jonathan Rottenberg, will participate in the 22nd Annual Festival of Reading with his book about depression.

Psychology Professor Jonathan Rottenberg wants to change the way people think about depression, a condition the World Health Organization estimates affects 350 million people around the world.
The University of South Florida professor uses mood science research to challenge the current model of depression -- that it is a chemical imbalance. This approach doesn't explain why antidepressants don't work any more effectively than when they were first introduced, he said. 
Instead, his theory, featured in The Depths: The Evolutionary Origins of the Depression Epidemic,  is that depression comes from adaptations that evolved to help our ancestors survive. Rottenburg and his book will be one of the authors featured at the 22nd Annual Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading on Saturday. 
In this interview, Rottenberg tells WUSF's Yoselis Ramos how his life of research was inspired by his own personal struggle with depression.
Rottenberg also explains why depression affects younger people the most. 

Rottenberg on depression affecting younger people.

And he reflects on how the media addressed depression in the wake of actor Robin Williams' death.

Rottenberg on Robin Williams' death.


Yoselis Ramos joined WUSF in Fall 2010 as a student intern. She's reported on various Tampa Bay stories ranging from transportation issues such as bicycle safety, to keeping up with public forums and city/county official meetings, to the exciting things happening right in your neighborhood.