Causes Of Depression

 Among the causes of Depression are the following: 
Role of the Amygdala, Thalamus and Hippocampus
Depression is an abnormal downward mood swing. Researchers believe certain regions of the brain help regulate mood, and are dependent on nerve cells connections, nerve cells growth, and proper functioning of nerve circuits. Brain imaging technology has shown that the amygdala, thalamus and hippocampus play major roles in mood regulation and depression.
The Amygdala is a group of structure deep in the brain. It is associated with emotions such as anger, pleasure, sorrow, fear and sexual arousal. Activities in the amygdala increase when a person is sad or clinically depressed.
The Thalamus receives sensory information and relays them to the cerebral cortex, which directs high level functions like speech, behavioral reactions, movement, thinking and learning. Depression may result from problems in the thalamus, which links incoming sensory information to pleasant or unpleasant feelings. In a depressed person, the incoming sensory information is linked to unpleasant feelings.
The Hippocampus helps process long-term memory and recollections. It is smaller in people with depression. Research suggests that growth of nerve cells in the hippocampus is impaired by continuous exposure to stress hormones, which explains why it is smaller in those who are depressed and under great stress.
Genetic Factors
Genes continuously make proteins for the biological processes in the body. Most of the time they make the right proteins, but in rear cases they get it wrong. When abnormal proteins are made they can alter the brain processes and result in unstable moods. In people who are genetically vulnerable to these mishaps, any stress can push them into depression.
Other Causes
Financial problems from the loss of a job, or loss of a breadwinner. Trauma from a violent accident, or a terminal disease, or grief from the loss of a loved one could also cause depression.

Ultimately, the goal of understanding the biology of depression is to improve the brain's ability to regulate mood, and reduce the occurrence of depression.

Research Source: Harvard Health Publications

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