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Mental and physical health

However, other studies have found that “emotional support” doesn’t do any good. Nolen-Hoeksema (1991) asked subjects “What do you do when you feel depressed?” Women often said that they ruminated about the problem or had a good moan with their friends; however, this correlated with a longer duration of depression; shorter periods of depression correlated with activities providing distraction. Men were more likely to engage in some physical activity, which was more successful. Several studies have found that what is needed is social support in the form of actual help, the availability of someone who cares, and companionship rather than intimate discussion of problems. Ross and Mirowsky (1989) found that social support led to less depression, but that intimate conversation about problems made things worse since this meant talking about problems, or complaining, rather than solving them. Help and problem-solving increased perception of being able to control events. The concept of control also explains why women who are married, rich or educated are less likely to become depressed. On the other hand we shall report later studies showing that self-disclosure is good for health, and that emotional support seems to be beneficial in marriage.