What is depression? - Dream Health

Dream Health aims to provide latest information about health, alternative medicine, fitness, yoga and meditation to improve knowledge and life style.

Recent Posts

Wednesday 7 December 2011

What is depression?

The pharmaceutical companies would have us believe that depression is a well understood condition that is triggered by a lack of serotonin in certain parts of our brain. Therefore, appropriate treatment should simply be to choose the pill that would allow the rate of serotonin back to normal. While this argument simple and compelling enough to drug marketing to doctors very busy, and the general public, it is probably not entirely accurate. A renowned neurobiologist said there was not long ago: "Explain how the human brain based on our current knowledge in neurobiology and neurochemistry is like analyzing samples from the sewers of Moscow and determine what the Muscovites took to breakfast that morning. "

We know that depression impairs the functioning of various parts of the brain, the limbic system and cerebral cortex. Depression thus affects our mood, it interferes with physiological functions such as appetite and sleep and parasite our intellectual efficiency.

The diagnosis

The presence of depression is not always obvious, especially for the sufferer. It sometimes looks like irritability or it can be confused with dementia or senility. The lines on which the diagnosis of depression settled correspond to parts of the brain affected. To establish the clinical diagnosis, we need more of the symptoms listed below are present and severe enough to significantly impair the ability of a person to perform activities of a normal day:
  •     sleep disturbances (early morning awakening, insomnia or excessive sleep);
  •     a change in appetite (loss of appetite or weight or bulimic behavior);
  •     low energy;
  •     feelings of helplessness, sadness, despair;
  •     lack of concentration;
  •     difficulty in making decisions.

Risk factors

Genetic link really exists: if your parents, your grandparents, your brothers and sisters have suffered from depression, you run a significantly increased risk. Some hormonal changes, such as those observed after pregnancy, or menopause, are associated with an increased risk of depression. A sudden emotional shock, pain or loss, can trigger a depressive episode. Certain times of the year such as Christmas or birthday of a painful event can be associated with depressive episodes. Some agents (alcohol, Mary Jane, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, beta blockers, clonidine, corticosteroids) cause a depression or worse. Depression is often associated with medical conditions such as heart disease, multiple sclerosis, forms of arthritis, stroke, hypothyroidism, Cushing's syndrome, Parkinson's disease and some cancers.

Once you have suffered from a depressive episode, the risk that others will increases with the onset of each subsequent offense. After one episode, the probability of another occurrence is 50% after two episodes, the probability is 70%, and after 3 it increases to 90%.


A wide range of therapies proved effective in the prevention and treatment of depression. Adequate rest, a good exercise program, a balanced diet are important therapeutic measures, especially for people who are at increased risk of depression. The cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a technical consultancy that the therapist uses to help the person who consults to identify and correct erroneous and negative thoughts. CBT has proven at least as effective as antidepressants in treating mild and moderate depression.

A wide range of antidepressant drugs has been developed and have shown some efficacy. Although they all act selectively, it is interesting to note that they have a remarkably wide range of actions in the brain. Some are stimulants, like amphetamines, which increase the secretion of dopamine. Others block the reabsorption of serotonin, and this action because the increase in the brain. Still others apparently act by increasing the concentration of norepinephrine, another excitatory neurotransmitter.

There have been conflicting scientific reports on the effectiveness of herbal remedies from medicinal plants, especially on St. John's wort. One study showed that the group with depression who received placebo had obtained a more favorable response than the group that had taken St. John's wort, or those who had taken an SSRI drug (a drug belonging to the class of antidepressants known as selective inhibitors of serotonin reuptake inhibitors).

Some people with severe and disabling depression has not responded to other types of treatment are successfully treated with electroconvulsive therapy. Although this is an extreme measure, one should not forget that major depression is a horrible disease, the consequences could be fatal.

As with any chronic condition that has biological origins and manifestations and psychosocial therapies combine the best of biological or pharmaceutical interventions with psychosocial treatments in the form of individual or group psychotherapy and behavior change for including physical exercise, the diet, social and spiritual. A study whose results were published in the British Medical Journal shows that patients whose depression was successfully treated were at lower risk of recurrence and works much better on the emotional and physical when providers of health care they lavished continued support. The group that received only one brief therapeutic intervention ran a greater risk of suffering a relapse. The message of this study is that depression is a chronic recurrence may, therefore, an effective therapy calls for the continuation of activities that will prevent a recurrence, including drugs, social support, psychotherapy, exercise physical activity and weighted.

What to do

Find out by reading. Discuss this with your doctor and with someone in your community center for mental health. Consider taking sessions, cognitive behavioral therapy with a qualified psychotherapist, but check first to make sure that the therapist is familiar with this method. Adopt a rigorous exercise program that you practice regularly. Watch your diet. Get out and get in touch with other people through social activities, hobbies, community, music or mutual support groups. While drawing the conclusion that depression is a chronic, often marked by relapses, do not forget that his recovery or long-term remission is possible, especially if the sufferer continues to do as he succeeds.

1 comment:

  1. Very useful and informative topic... Thanks for sharing ! :)


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.