Depression is more than just being sad. It is a disorder that affects specific parts of the brain. This causes a significant loss of interest in every day life. Being depressed is the ongoing feeling of severe dejection aka feeling down on yourself that is constant, having no end. Depression can lead to more issues such as suidcidal thoughts.
Parts of the Brain Affected -
Amygdala- it is part of the limbic system located deep within the brain. It is associated with emotions. This part of the brain is activated when a person recalls a certain moment that frightened them or made them really happy. When someone has chronic depression activity in the amygdala is much higher, this increased activity continues even after people recover from depression.
Thalamus- this receives most sensory information & relays it to the correct part of the cerebral cortex, which then directs functions such as behavior, movement, thinking, speech, and learning. Which this then helps link sensory input to pleasant and unpleasant feelings, found in research. Showing a key factor in those who suffer with depression.
Hippocampus- is another part of the brain that has a part in the formation of depression. It's job is to process long-term memory & recollection. The hippocampus is smaller in most depressed people, and research shows that an ongoing exposure to stress hormones messes with the growth of nerve cells in this part of the brain which all relates back to the depression factor.
Everyone has a bad day and experiences the blues. If you feel lonely, sad, depressed, etc. for a day it does not mean you are depressed, it means you are human. Those feelings are normal for humans, but not if they are persistent, intense, or bothersome. When you go for weeks at a time battling these feelings and daily life seems to become a chore, then you are depressed. There are many symptoms all throughout your body that could mean you are depressed. Changes in your mood such as: anxiety, apathy, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, mood swings, or sadness are all common signs that you may be depressed. Changes in your sleep schedule such as excessive sleep, restless sleep or insomnia are also warning signs. Different behavioral and cognitive changes might also be telling you that you are depressed such as: agitation, excessive crying, irritability, social isolation, lack of concentration, slowness in activity, or thoughts of suicide are all also major red flags as well. Educating yourself and knowing the warnings signs are very important, if you are experiencing these symptoms consult your doctor or medical professional for help.
How To Develop Disorder-
There are many different factors that can cause or trigger someone’s depression. In some cases depression can run in families and be linked to genetics. Other times depression can come from stress you are dealing with or poor health. Your hormones also play a major role in depression, wild hormones could change the chemistry of one’s brain and trigger their depression. Hypothyroidism, for example, is the deficiency of your thyroid hormones which alters the chemistry of your brain and in some cases brings on depression. Some other cases of depression come from the misuse or abuse of alcohol or drugs.
If you believe you are depressed the best option is to consult your doctor or medical professional. They will talk with you and devise a plan to target your specific depression. Everyone’s depression is different, it is caused and triggered by different things and therefore needs to be treated on a patient to patient basis. Some treatment options are medication. There is an abundance of different medications out there to treat your depression. Some common antidepressants are: citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft). Another option is to go to therapy. Sometimes the best medicine is to talk about what is bothering you and to get it off your chest. Your doctor will be vital in addressing and treating your depression.
Robin Williams & Depression-
Mr. Williams was a wonderful comedian and actor. Throughout his life he starred in many popular movies. He always knew how to make someone laugh and put on a good show with his beloved figure. Little did anyone know that behind all those smiles, scripted jokes, and wealth was a very sad and lonely man. Robin Williams passed away on August 11th, 2014. This was terribly heart-breaking news for some. He was found hanging and police decided that it was in fact suicide. Williams was depressed and depression is a major illness that most people look over it as nothing or not a "real" issue. In reality it is a huge issue that causes some to take their own life. The big question is whether or not it was solely depression or another brain disorder that took control of his very upsetting actions. In the video below his wife talks about how she justifies his death.