Is Depression a Disease?
The question “Is Depression a Disease?”
Is one many people have asked at some point in their lives. In an age where many people suffer from depression-related issues, it is important to understand what depression really is and how it can affect your life. With this understanding, you will be better able to understand what steps to take when you think there is nothing more you can do to help treat it.
According to conventional thinking, depression is a disorder of the brain. It is characterized by changes in brain chemistry and is believed to be caused by hormonal changes within the brain. This theory was developed after a series of studies were conducted on depressed people who were given neuropsychological tests. The tests showed that these people had larger corpus callosum, a network of nerves that link the different parts of the brain.
Since mood disorders can be caused by biological changes within the brain, many researchers began to think that depression could also be caused by biological changes occurring in other parts of the body. Another school of thought is that depression is a disease of the mind. This school of thought is what is known today as “depression genetics.” This school of thought maintains that some people are born with certain conditions that make them more susceptible to depression. Others are genetically pre-disposed to depression.
No matter which school of thought you examine,
There is still considerable debate over which biological causes or conditions are true and which are false. The issue is further complicated by the fact that depression is actually a symptom, not a disease in and of itself. If biological causes are true, then we would expect to see certain biological changes in the brain or in various parts of the body that cause depression. For example, people that are left untreated for a long time will develop certain brain disorders, such as chronic pain, depression, or anxiety. But we do not see these disorders.
Another problem with the biology of depression is that many of the symptoms are the result of psychological problems. People who suffer from extreme stress or depression will often lose their appetite, go through mood swings, lose interest in daily activities, and have negative thoughts. People who are suffering from extreme cases of anxiety may develop panic attacks. And people who are suffering from severe headaches may develop depression.
The problem with studying depression as a disease is that most of the symptoms are caused by psychological problems. We do not yet have ways of examining the brain to determine which biochemical or biological causes are actually causing the changes in the brain. But there are other simpler ways to examine depression. For example, if someone suffers from extreme stress at work, they may find that their mood swings are caused by stress-related hormones released into the brain.
Or if someone is depressed because they have poor sleep habits, they may be suffering from hormonal imbalances in the brain-and these hormonal imbalances could be caused by a variety of biological causes. Most of the things we think of as biological causes of depression have been proven to be incorrect: such as the theory that certain brain chemicals cause us to become sad or happy. But the truth is that all of these different chemical and neurological reactions in the brain are caused by psychological factors-and those factors can be examined in laboratories.
In the end,
The real question to ask is “is depression a disease?” The answer is not simple. It will probably depend on whom you ask. But the best way to find out is to find a way to examine the brain under a microscope, like in a doctor’s office, and see if the chemical makeup and neurological processes of the brain are changing in response to stress or trauma.