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Some Causes of Depression

Aug 18, 2007
It's important to understand the causes of depression before understanding how it makes a person feel.

Despite a good deal of research over the past few decades, researchers have not yet been successful in identifying the specific causes of depression. These researchers are continuing in their work, but the answers are coming slowly. What is known about depression is that those who suffer from it may have some experiences in common with which they have to deal. Depression can be caused by what they eat, how they were brought up, and how they relate to certain things that go on around them.

First, heredity plays a big role in who will have to deal with depression. If one or both of a person's parents suffer from depression, then their children have a higher likelihood of suffering from the same problem. It is believed that between forty and seventy percent of those who suffer from depression have it because to runs in the family. If you find a depressive person in a family, it is not unlikely that one or more of their siblings will have problem as well.

Others suffering depression can have the disease because of an imbalance of the chemicals in the brain. In these cases, antidepressants can work to help right the imbalances and replace some of chemicals that should be there. These drugs include serotonin and norepinephrine. Physicians and researchers are not clear on why these imbalances occur, but they do agree that correcting the imbalance of chemicals can go a long way to dealing with eliminating the symptoms.

Studies recently have pointed to a suggestive pattern in the hippocampus. This part of the brain deals specifically with memory and mood. Research has linked this area as a possible source of depression since when the chemical serotonin is low it certainly affects mood, but when it is increased with medications both mood and memory improve greatly. Therefore proving the researchers claim.

Some people suffer depression due to what has been called seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD. SAD has only been recognized as an ailment in the recent past. This syndrome is caused by the reduced hours of sunlight once winter approaches and the days grow shorter, the cause may be that when there is less sun, the body manufactures more melatonin and that this is the cause of the problem. There is actually a therapy that has been developed to help counter this problem called bright light therapy or phototherapy. Many people respond to this therapy with generally good results.

In the ongoing look for answers to the question of what causes depression diet has come up as a possible contributing factor. Researchers have claimed omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and in heavily processed foods, can be a trigger for depression. Studies were conducted to prove this point at schools and prisons. A study with laboratory rats showed excessive omega acids appeared to cause depression in the rats.

Whatever the cause of a person's depression, learning to deal with it, by therapy or medication can alleviate the symptoms.
About the Author
Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Depression.
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