Clinical Depression and Brain Malfunction
Even today, many mental health professionals blame all depression on emotional, situational, psychological, relational, or spiritual problems or choices.
Advances in brain scanning technology tell a different story. Medical researchers can observe the physiological malfunction associated with clinical depression using nuclear medicine tomographic imaging (SPECT) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI).
If your brain were a computer, clinical depression would be like a damaged hard drive. If your hard drive is damaged, your software malfunctions. You may not realize your hard drive is damaged and go out and buy new software. But the software will continue to malfunction unto you replace your hard drive.
A similar concept applies to clinical depression. Your brain's hardwiring is damaged. Glitches appear in your brain’s "software" -- mental cognition, mood, memory, thought control, perception, concentration, sleep, energy, motivation, and physical health. Over time, the problems become more serious and frequent.
At this point, you may seek help to fix the software, employing traditional software fixes such as psychotherapy, stress reduction and positive thinking techniques.
But if your brain's hardwiring is damaged, these methods will do little good. When the brain is diseased, psyhotheraphy is a distraction and expensive waste of time. Even if you do have a software problem, you will not be able to address it until your brain is healed.
The human brain contains approximately 100 billion nerve cells. It should come as no surprise that this complex, intricate organ is vulnerable to illness just like any other part of the body.
Untreated, major clinical depression destroys brain cells. It actually shrinks your brain.
If that information is depressing (no pun intended), there’s good news. The right medication, if taken soon enough and long enough, can help brain cells regenerate. This process is called neurogenesis.
With depressive illness, one or more of the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine are depleted. Over time, brain cells and neural pathways are damaged. This disrupts emotional, mental and some physical functions that are regulated by that part of the brain.
Read how clinical depression affects your brain
Clinical Depression Symptoms & Treatment
There are several types of clinical depression, each with different symptoms and treatment strategies.
Major Depressive Disorder Symptoms & Treatment
Bi-polar Disorder Symptoms & Treatment
Post-partum depression Symptoms & Treatment
Anxiety disorders Symptoms and Treatment (includes OCD, panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and GAD)
you are experiencing the symptoms of depressive illness, see your doctor immediately. This website is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical advice or replace the advice or your doctor. If you are having suicidal thoughts, immediately call an ambulance or go to the nearest emergency ward.