You know how it’s always said that religious people hate science. Well that’s just not true. This is the kind of science I could embrace. The Telegraph reports that clean houses could lead to depression.
Researchers found that cleaner homes and offices are leaving lower levels of dirt and bacteria which could lead to weaker immune systems and, in turn, brain function being impaired.
Previous studies have linked clean homes to weak immune systems, while others have suggested a child’s exposure to bacteria and things like animal hair could help develop a resistance to some illnesses.
The latest study, from Atlanta, suggested that weaker immune systems tend to over-react to dust and dirt in the form of inflammations or allergies which can slow the brain’s production of “happy” chemicals such as serotonin and cause depression.
The scientists said the rates of depression are far higher in the developed world than in poorer parts of the planet.
In Britain, 10% of people claim to suffer depression, while just 1% claims the same in Nigeria, for example.
Finally! Now, this is science that will have a direct impact on millions. Honey, I didn’t clean the house because I want the kids to be happy!!!!
Now, I’m not going to pay attention to the thought that the discrepancy between depression in developed countries and not so developed countries is that people in not-so developed countries don’t have time to be depressed. I’m not going to consider that when you’re scraping to survive you don’t have time to overanalyze every little emotion that flits through your brain like you do when you’re popping bon-bons and watching Oprah. I’m going to ignore those thoughts.
Science has made many pronouncements that I’ve found crazy but this is one that could possibly feed my laziness so I’m sticking with it. So if I’m asked why my kids are wearing the same dirty clothes they’ve been wearing since last Tuesday I’ll harrumph and say loudly that it’s because I care about their future immune system. I happen to care about my children’s “happy” chemical levels. Or something.
And then I’ll sit down, eat my bon-bons, and watch Oprah. And cry.