Frequent email checking among depressed individuals can be a coping mechanism that helps to alleviate feelings of insecurity, social isolation, and lack of control. However, if email checking becomes excessive or interferes with daily functioning, it may be a sign of a larger issue and professional help may be necessary.

Here are several reasons why depressed people may check their email more frequently than non-depressed individuals:

Seeking reassurance

Depressed people may check their email more frequently in order to seek reassurance or validation from others. They may feel a sense of insecurity or low self-esteem, and checking their email for positive messages or feedback can help to alleviate these feelings.

Social isolation

Depression can lead to social isolation, and checking email can be a way for depressed individuals to feel connected to others. Even if they are not receiving direct communication from others, simply reading emails or social media messages can provide a sense of social connection and belonging.


Depressed individuals may use email checking as a form of distraction from negative thoughts or emotions. By focusing on their email inbox, they can temporarily take their mind off of their problems and concerns.

Sense of control

Depression can leave individuals feeling helpless or out of control, and checking email can provide a sense of control and agency. By actively seeking out new messages or updates, depressed individuals may feel like they are taking charge of their own lives and managing their environment.

Avoidance of real-life interactions

Depression can make it difficult for individuals to engage in face-to-face interactions with others. Checking email or social media can provide a way to interact with others without the added pressure of in-person communication.

Fear of missing out (FOMO)

Depressed individuals may check their email more frequently out of a fear of missing out on important information or opportunities. This can be related to a lack of self-confidence or a belief that they are not valuable enough to receive information or opportunities.


Checking email or social media may become a habit for depressed individuals, providing a sense of familiarity or routine in their daily lives. This can be a way to create structure and consistency in an otherwise chaotic or unpredictable environment.

Anticipation of negative news

Depressed individuals may check their email more frequently in anticipation of negative news or messages. This can be related to feelings of anxiety or a belief that they are undeserving of positive news or experiences.

Article: Copyright © Chatham House Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

Internet & Social Media: "Why Depressed People Check Their Email More"