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Medical Depression: It's All In Your Head.

  1. Oct 4, 2006 #1
    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.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2008 #2
    Wow doc you sure know how to treat patients well. Obviously people will end up on this page when they search for facts relating to depression. As a doctor, if you even are a doctor, what have you done to help patients? All you have done here is made it clear, or rather magnified the depressed state of people with this "disorder" into thinking there is no way out of the condition. You have just robbed everyone of any hope of realizing the reality of the condition. Probably subconciously even made people seek depression treatment, which of course everyone knows does NOTHING to help the depression, ask anyone who has depression and takes perscribed anti-depressants all it really does is make you hooked on the medecine. I would not be surprised if the medecine itself added to the depression.

    Just to clarify, I do not have depression, about a year ago I thought I had depression. I could not stand going to school, and felt like everyone looked down on me and treated me like garbage. I could not carryon a full conversation with anyone in my family, and found myself withdrawing from social activities becouse of my lack of self esteem.

    I then decided to finally take matters into my own hands becouse I did not want to continue living my life the way I was, and I did not for 1 second buy into the fact that there are magic pills that can cure depression. It is all mental. Your health is all mental. Mind is body. What do you think Mind is? Does it not exist in your brain, with which you think, and which also controls your body. The thought patterns you manifest reflect in your entire body. Do not buy into the modern medical system which have a pill for everything, and have a name for every small human behaviour difference. Depression is a state. Yes it is caused by chemicals and agents in your brain, but you control those chemicals with your mood.

    To cure depression mentally, start thinking about happy things, think back to when you would tell a funny joke and people would laugh with you, think back to when you could enjoy life, and aim towards that. You have to convert negative thoughts, thoughts of self- negligence into positive ones, which reinforce your self-esteem.

    Just listen to the negativity in ilhan's speech. How is that supposed to help anyone?
  4. Mar 10, 2008 #3


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    You were not clinically depressed, you were just down in the dumps, so to speak. People that are clinically depressed aren't sad or discouraged, they have no control over how they feel and there usually is no direct cause of the depression (death of a loved one, loss of a job etc...). People cannot cure clinical depression by thinking happy thoughts.
  5. Mar 10, 2008 #4
    I would like to know conclusive information about if it is the chicken or the egg, or both. Do people who suffer tragedies, who used to be normal happy people, begin to suffer these brain disorders as well?

    Perhaps the genetic factor is not that people are born with week brains, but that they are born with a system of thinking that leaves them prone to getting depressed.

    My father was killed when I was six years old. Yet, now even though I grew up without his influence, I still ended up thinking the same way he did. I even ended up having nearly the exact same sloppy handwriting. I went through some of his old papers, and he wrote essays about the same types of things that I would choose, and wrote in the same style as I would. When people describe to me what my father was like, it sounds like their talking about me. From the things he valued, to his personality, to the way he interpreted the world.

    Maybe people are just born with a style of thinking that leads to a person being harder on themselves. Maybe it is the systems and situations of the world that are incompatible with how some people think.

    I could see how being dressed could naturally lead to degradation of the brain without being born with a disease that causes it. When you smile, you open up arteries to the brain letting blood and oxygen flow to your brain.

    My high school math teacher used to make the whole class hold a big smile, fake or not, for like 10 or 20 seconds before class, or tests sometimes. He claimed it would make our brains work better. I never really bought into the fake smile thing though. To me it seams self hypocritical to make a fake smile when inside you feel bad. They can be held, but you can't hold a fake smile forever. Your gonna have to find natural methods of smiling if you want to save your brain from disease.
  6. Mar 10, 2008 #5


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    Indeed, that would be the basis of post-traumatic stress disorder. However, recent studies are suggesting that the reason people respond differently to similar stresses (for example, some children have suffered PTSD and associated anxiety disorders since living through hurricane Katrina, while others in the same situation with them have not) may be due to prenatal programming (not necessarily genetics)...if a mother experiences stress while pregnant, and the fetus is exposed to higher than typical glucocorticoid levels, they may be more likely to develop anxiety disorders as children or adults.

    In people, it's hard to really sort out cause and effect...is the mother stressed during pregnancy because of a genetic factor passed on to the offspring, or is it an upbringing, or hormonal, or other effect, or a combination of several factors (i.e., genetic predisposition and prenatal stress exposure). But, animal models can provide better insight, since one can manipulate different components of the system such as treating pregnant animals with glucocorticoids to mimic what a stressed animal experiences without the actual stressor (i.e., remove the genetic component), and pups can be cross-fostered to other moms, to remove the "nurture" component, etc.

    Louvart H, Maccari S, Darnaudéry M. Prenatal stress affects behavioral reactivity to an intense stress in adult female rats. Brain Res. 2005 Jan 7;1031(1):67-73.

    Abe H, Hidaka N, Kawagoe C, Odagiri K, Watanabe Y, Ikeda T, Ishizuka Y, Hashiguchi H, Takeda R, Nishimori T, Ishida Y. Prenatal psychological stress causes higher emotionality, depression-like behavior, and elevated activity in the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis. Neurosci Res. 2007 Oct;59(2):145-51. Epub 2007 Jun 19.


    Maccari S, Morley-Fletcher S. Effects of prenatal restraint stress on the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and related behavioural and neurobiological alterations. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2007 Aug;32 Suppl 1:S10-5. Epub 2007 Jul 24.

    Darnaudéry M, Maccari S. Epigenetic programming of the stress response in male and female rats by prenatal restraint stress.Brain Res Rev. 2007 Nov 28 [Epub ahead of print]


    Seckl JR, Meaney MJ. Glucocorticoid "programming" and PTSD risk. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Jul;1071:351-78.


    Brand SR, Engel SM, Canfield RL, Yehuda R. The effect of maternal PTSD following in utero trauma exposure on behavior and temperament in the 9-month-old infant. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Jul;1071:454-8.

  7. Mar 15, 2008 #6

    Apperently you think thinking of happy things work.? for some it is too hard to do. Sometimes you think for answers. Thinking of happy times in life isn't so easy for someone who is really depressed. I suffer from depression but It's not about negativity unless you look for it. Hearing what you want to hear is a pretty good way to go but still know what is negative will also help. Just because you screw up once doesn't mean You've lost everything. Also Your little comment, isn't such a positive lecture either. Just because your depressed doesn't mean you can't be happy at all.
  8. Mar 28, 2008 #7
    "Real" depression is a disease somatogenic in nature as much as alzheimer's, parkinson's, or dementia.

    Psychological manifestations resulting in mild physiological changes can perhaps be fixed by thinking "happy thoughts." True neurotransmitter dysfunction requires medical treatment for acute changes.

    Telling someone with clinical depression to "think happy thoughts" is similar in nature to telling someone with parkinson's to "stop shaking." Parkinson's physical manifestations are going to be shown with gross motor changes with minimal voluntary control to change. Depression's physical manifestations (sadness, fatigue, etc) will allow for greater ability for the depressed person to "hide" what is going on, but the neurological effects are every bit as real.

    Being "sad" is entirely different then clinical depression. People that have snapped out of their "sadness" are often quick to judge others with clinical depression.
    Those with previous bouts of self-cured "sadness" will understand full fold the great difference between being in the dumps and clinical depression brought on by dysfunction of the canonized neurotransmitters.
  9. Mar 28, 2008 #8


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    And people end up just having to take it. I think more physical problems people blame on the victim than necessary.
  10. Mar 28, 2008 #9
    All I know is that I've been going around telling mentally handicapped people to stop being stupid. I once called the biceps brachioradialis the biceps brachialis. I fixed this mistake by telling myself to think harder before I write something down on a test.

    It worked for me, surely it will work for those with mental handicaps, right?
  11. May 8, 2008 #10

    but i have been diagnosed by three different doctors and yet phyciatrists (?) always tell me its all in your head...

    so what is that all about?
  12. May 8, 2008 #11
    You definitely haven't been majorly depressed (in the clinical terms).

    I've been getting therapy for a LONG LASTING depression (4 years worth of crap building up that I thought 'I could control'). I tried my best but it arrived at points where you get irritated for literally no reason. Things felt irritating even if they weren't things that would irritate me before. It would just happen randomly. The same went for wanting to feel bummed out and cry. One day I had uncontrollable surges of crying and weeping for around 10 hours out of the time I was awake.

    I didn't think therapy and anti-depressives would work, but for me at least, it did. Whenever I had these "break-downs", it felt so much easier to control it. Before it was VERY HARD to control.

    I mean, a clinically depressed person when not depressed isn't necessarily dumb or ignorant of the world. But when depression is triggered, you don't even want to imagine how the world feels. To me it felt just empty.

    But definitely do some research or something. Go visit people who gone through psychiatric therapy. I'm pretty much done with my medication and I feel so much greater than before.

    I actually feel normal (in terms being able to control my life).
  13. May 15, 2008 #12
    It's quite interesting that some of the depression medication has proven to be a big fat placebo, i.e. SSRI-medication. The effect has been the same with SSRI as placebo pills in patent diagnosed with depression, exept in cases where the depression was extremely severe. This argument kind of ridicules any attempts to secretly feed someone antidepressants of this kind as the placebo only has effect when the subject is aware of it.
  14. May 15, 2008 #13
    Sources to specific SSRI-medications being placebos.
  15. May 15, 2008 #14


    That's a pretty strong claim on the word "placebo."

    An SSRI is going to have definite psychoactive effects on the body. Prolonging the time that serotonin remains in the synapse is going to cause changes in the body beyond "placebo."

    You could make the argument that the perceived changes in mental status are in someway related to the fact that a person "wants" to feel a certain way is, but to claim that an SSRI is going to provide no psychoactive effects beyond placebo is a little too bold for me.

    As an analogy, would you be able to argue that the psychoactive effects of MDMA in regards to its action on serotonin are placebo?

    An SSRI is going to cause definite physiological changes. You could argue that the perceived effects on depression level can be achieved with alternate routes, as that is a secondary measurement not absolutely correlated 1 to 1 with neurotransmitter levels, but you can't argue that serotonin levels in the synapse are not altered.

    I would be interested in seeing the exact articles being paraphrased when linking "SSRI" and "Placebo," because I feel you're linking too broad a relationship with a very exact statement.
  16. May 15, 2008 #15
    “Some of the leading brands of SSRI antidepressants are no more clinically effective than placebo for people with mild or moderate depression. So says a meta-analysis of the SSRIs fluoxetine (Prozac), venlafaxine (Efexor), nefazodone (Serzone) and paroxetine (Seroxat), published in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) journal in February.
    But, despite hitting front page news, the study by Irving Kirsch, professor of psychology at the University of Hull, and colleagues at universities in the US and Canada, in fact revealed nothing that was new to the research world.
    Kirsch had arrived at the same conclusions, using much the same data, in a study published in Prevention and Treatment journal in 2002, a full six years previously. The key difference seems to be that Kirsch was then working in the US, and the study's publication went unnoticed by the media here in the UK.
    Nevertheless, the PLoS study is highly significant. It was based on all the data - published and unpublished - from clinical trials submitted by the drug companies to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) during the 80s and 90s to get approval to market their SSRIs. Kirsch used freedom of information laws to retrieve the data. A meta-analysis that includes unpublished trials eliminates 'reporting bias' (caused when the same data is published in several journals and so included in the analysis more than once) and 'selective reporting' (where only the trials that produce positive outcomes of a drug are published, and so only the positive findings are included in the analysis).”
    (CHEMICAL CONTRICK? Adam James. Mental Health Today. Brighton: Apr 2008. pg 10, 2 pgs)

    And later in the article;

    “Kirsch acknowledges antiepressants may have some effect for people with severe depression. 'Antidepressants can be given to people with severe depression, but only if they don't manage to recover from alternative treatment. Antidepressants may still have a role but we must first think of alternative forms of treatment,' he says.”
  17. May 15, 2008 #16


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    Please post the peer reviewed studies on this.
  18. May 15, 2008 #17
    It's no surprise that the brains of those with Major Depression begin to atrophy, everything else looks like it's shutting down too, they certainly aren't looking after themselves very well anymore.
  19. May 15, 2008 #18


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    Please cite peer reviewed studies.
  20. May 15, 2008 #19
    Sorry Evo, that was me blurting out an opinion, I was thinking acute-geri-psych-ward type depression. I did a placement on one during training and pick up overtime shifts there occasionally.
  21. Nov 5, 2011 #20
    Depression is one of most bad diseas.It's crush your life.To cure depression do activities which you likes most.Try to be happy in routine life.Do some exercise,play your favorite sports. Always try to think positively. Do prayer on daily basis or you can also take support of meditation both are most helpful to come out of depression.
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