Medical Explanation for Major Depression An important line of defense in treating Major Depression is realizing depression is a medical disorder. It’s a BRAIN disorder, not a MIND disorder (although depression effects the mind). A depressed brain is not running on all cylinders. Certain regions of the brain have bio-amine deficiencies. Newer findings indicate a lack of “neuro-placidity” (or the regeneration of brain cells). There seems to be a deficiency of a substance known as Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDFN) that reinforces and produces brain neurons. Its been found that the brains of those who have Major Depression begin to atrophy. Such structures as the Prefrontal Cortex, Ventral Striatum, Hippocampus and the Amygdala begin to shrink. We're not sure if depression causes this or this causes depression. It's a chicken/egg thing. What’s interesting is anti-depressant treatment and ECT helps restore BDFN and the regeneration of brain cells. This newer finding may help in future treatments for depression. Have you ever wondered why some people with terribly abused backgrounds grow up normal, while others are handicapped the rest of their lives? Have you ever wondered why some people raised in ideal homes still get depressed? Medical science is concluding the brain is more the culprit than environment. The disorder has genetic ties as well. Could brain dysfunctions play a major role in family dysfunctions? Have you ever wondered why you feel so empty, even if your life is full? It’s not because life is pointless, or you have no place in life; it’s because the pleasurable regions of your brain are shutting down. This condition is a central symptom of depression and sucks the very life out of us. Many of us can’t even feel the love we have for our loved-ones. In the absence of pleasure, everything we do is done out of guilt, “shoulds,” and “musts.” Other areas of the brain are affected as well. The sleep regions become affected, altering the natural circadian rhythm of sleep. You’ll either oversleep; under-sleep or the sleep cycle becomes inconsistent. You may feel tired all day, and yet can’t sleep at night. Depression affects the higher cognitive functions of the brain. People fall under basic false beliefs that the world is no good, they are no good, and it’s not going to get any better. This is known as the cognitive triad of depression. When depression alters our brain, we lose the person we once were and become our own worst enemies. I’ve noticed several people are afraid that antidepressant therapy will change who they are. However, it’s the other way around. Depression changes who you are. Antidepressants, on the other hand, restore the brains functioning so you can feel more like your real self. So, in conclusion, you have a physical disorder that affects you psychologically. Your brain is not functioning normally. This is out of your voluntary control, and has nothing to do with your strength or self-worth. Depression is no respecter of persons. Your perceptions have been altered, most of which are false. It’s important to be aware of this, so a part of your mind can discount all the distorted thinking. Not that it will do away with how you’re feeling, but it does help you get through episodes of depression.