The possible significance of compromised exposure to positive stimuli during an individual's early childhood could contribute to impoverished positive memory development and subsequently dysregulated emotional responses to such valence of stimuli in adulthood. This could potentially explain dampened positive emotional responses of depressed individuals as reported in imaging studies of the brain's mesolimbic reward pathways. This paper provides emphasis and suggestions for a preliminary exploration of positive cartoon stimuli as a new tool in therapeutic targets for depression treatment and research that cater to a subgroup of depressive individuals who had experienced childhood trauma and stressful episodes as their primary causes of the disorder. Cartoon stimuli as a form of visual and interactive therapy may provide a compensatory and restorative component for the emotional losses and insults on an otherwise healthy childhood positivity required for normal and balanced neuropsychological development and growth. Unfortunately, such readily available resources for therapy have hardly been considered and utilized. The potential benefit of exposure to cartoon stimuli may extend beyond the method of positive mood induction and further addresses the need for both implicit and explicit comfort, understanding, emotional and situational relatedness that compensate for the lack of such stimulation during an early stressful life. Through evoking childlike positive associations, it is hypothesized that depression could reduce in severity and the threshold for activation of response to positive stimuli and themes lowered, thereby restoring negative and positive mood imbalances.
Published Date: 2019-08-31; Received Date: 2019-08-15