The anatomy of depression

Have you been feeling sad, down in the dumps or blue for weeks, unable to “pick yourself up”?  You may possibly be suffering from depression …

Depression is one of the most common medical illnesses, affecting about 1 out of 10 people at any given time 리니지m 헬퍼 다운로드. It can have a profound effect on a person’s life, especially with regards to family and personal relationships, as well as performance at work.

What are some of the symptoms of depression?

There are a wide variety of symptoms of depression, and they can vary from one patient to the next. For depression to be diagnosed, at least 5 of these symptoms need to be present on most days of the week, lasting at least 2 weeks

  • a continuous depressed mood (feeling empty or sad)
  • decreased energy, marked tiredness
  • a lack of enjoyment or interest in activities, social withdrawal
  • poor concentration, difficulty making decisions
  • sleep disturbances (difficulty sleeping, oversleeping, early morning waking)
  • unexplained crying or tearfulness
  • anxiousness, irritability, restlessness, agitation
  • feelings of worthlessness, reduced confidence and self-esteem
  • physical symptoms such as loss of appetite, weight loss or weight gain, low libido
  • a negative view of the future
  • ideas or acts of self-destruction or suicide

What causes depression?

The exact cause of depression is not fully known. Psychiatrists believe depression can result from an interplay of a variety of factors, such as:

  • stressful life events
  • chemical imbalances in the brain
  • genetic vulnerability
  • medical conditions
  • gender
  • side effects of medication or substance abuse
  • hormone level changes
  • disrupted biological or circadian rhythms

What about the chemical basis of depression?

Neurotransmitters are chemicals that can be found in areas of the brain that regulate and control your emotion and mood. These neurotransmitters allow for the transmission of nerve impulses from one nerve cell to another. In depression, there may be too little of a neurotransmitters, so anti-depressant medication often works by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters believed to play a role in depression:

  • Serotonin: regulates mood, appetite and sleep; inhibits pain
  • Noradrenaline: involved in determining motivation and reward; may trigger anxiety
  • Dopamine: involved in how a person perceives reality, influences motivation and reward
  • Acetylcholine : enhances memory, involved in learning and recall
  • Glutamate: functions as an excitatory neurotransmitter
  • GABA: functions as an inhibitory neurotransmitter; helps with anxiety
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Do hormones play a role in depression?

Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression as men, and depression in women often occurs at times of hormonal changes, such as pre-menstruation, after childbirth and before menopause. Medical conditions affecting the thyroid and adrenal glands can also be associated with depression

How is depression treated?

Fortunately, there is effective treatment available for depression! The most effective treatment for depression usually involves a combination approach, and can include:

  • medication (anti-depressants, mood stabilisers)
  • psychotherapy (with a Clinical Psychologist)
  • ECT (electro-convulsive therapy)

So, even if it feels like there are no answers, depression has real causes and responds to treatment. If you’re battling depression, talk to your doctor.