*Harmful behaviors including eating too much, drinking to excess and smoking too much may actually help African Americans ward off depression but simultaneously tend to lead to early death.

Interestingly, the same negative behaviors in whites do not ward off depression but contribute to it.

These are two of the primary conclusions from a ground breaking new study by a team of researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

If confirmed by other studies, the report would help explain a major health abnormality: While Blacks suffer more than whites from maladies such as diabetes, strokes and certain cancers, they suffer much less than whites from depression, panic disorders and anxiety.

Lead researcher James Jackson says the negative behaviors may actually help combat depression and anxiety but he adds, “If you live under very stressful conditions, you have to work harder to maintain your mental health.

Sometimes the strategies you use to cope with this stress become harmful in themselves.” (source: Taylor Media Services)