Ants and Depression

During the 1990s, a research doctor named Dr. Daniel Amen thought his patients’ brains were infested with “Automatic Negative Thoughts” (ANTs). These thoughts caused patients to think of things in negative terms, making it harder for them to make decisions and lowering their self-esteem. They were also prone to anger and anxiety, and could lower their ability to cope with stress.

Daniel Amen found thousands of ants in his kitchen, and began teaching his patients how to “eradicate” them. He thought that this was a way to make patients feel better.

In the early 1990s, Amen coined the term “Automatic Negative Thoughts” and began teaching his patients how to “eradicate” these thoughts. He discovered that these thoughts can actually rob patients of their joy and happiness.

A meta-analysis of studies on ants and depression was conducted. It is the first meta-analysis of depression-related ANT studies. It includes data from five other studies. It was published in Molecular Ecology.

The studies were performed on Camponotus fellah carpenter ants. The ants are social eaters, dedicating themselves to cleaning their nest and feeding larvae. They live shorter lives than ants living in smaller groups. They are also more prone to parasites. The ants’ immune system was reduced when they were isolated from other ants, and the immune genes were downregulated.

The researchers also found that ants were less likely to digest food properly when they were isolated. This is similar to social mammals, who experience social isolation as stress.