Biological Causes of Depression
Understanding depression may be difficult, as it is hard to grasp why someone cannot experience positive feelings. When someone is depressed, he is likely to exude anxiety, changes in sleep patterns, feelings of worthlessness, thoughts of suicide, fatigue and difficulty focusing. These side effects are not the patient’s doing, rather they stem from a mixture of biological causes that contribute to the symptoms.
How Biology Initiates Depression
A person’s mind and body can work against her, which is often the case when it comes to depression. The combination of brain chemistry and a genetic disposition to depression can cause it in the following ways:
- Neurotransmitters are chemicals that send messages to the nerves in the brain. They regulate many functions through serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine to create a healthy, happy mood. Mental health experts believe depression can easily occur in someone who either has a breakdown of these neurotransmitters or has low levels of the chemicals that encourage positivity. While it is difficult to study neurotransmitters, certain medications that affect these chemicals have successfully treated depression.
- The limbic system contain many parts, but the hypothalamus is one of the most crucial. It helps regulate mood and hormones through the pituitary gland, so if there are any abnormalities with either of these pieces, disorders such as depression can quickly develop.
- Similar to the limbic system, the endocrine system also helps regulate hormones, which in turn determines emotional response. However, the endocrine system controls hormones to stay at an acceptable level, so if it falters, it can affect these hormone levels beyond the accepted level. This makes it difficult for the brain to manage hormones, which makes depression more likely.
- Cortisol is a chemical that is released when someone experiences stress. The more stress we are under, the more of this chemical is released, which can damage the brain. So, when our thoughts become blurry or it is difficult to remember stressful events, cortisol is the culprit, as it makes it difficult to recall problems.
Living with depression is extremely upsetting not only for the person with the disorder, but also for others in his life. Understanding how the body can react is crucial to grasping what depression is and how it affects people. Through proper treatment that includes appropriate medication, those with depression can find ways to outsmart their brains and get their hormones back on the right track.
Help with Depression
Please don’t wait one more day to find professional help. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline right now to get connected to someone who can recommend treatment services. It’s time to break free of your depression. Call us today and begin your recovery as soon as possible.