In this article, we will try to answer the question, is depression a state of mind or not. We will give three biological reasons that will show us the depression is not a state of mind. In the next section of the blog, we will look at what is depression, the symptoms of depression, the treatment of depression, and how to help yourself while dealing with depression.
is depression a state of mind?
Depression is a complex, challenging, and muti-faced disorder that people suffer from. Deciding if depression is a state of mind or a disease would be actually difficult. Depression is a medical disorder that is usually caused by a combination of biological, social, and psychological processes. By referring to it as a disease, we might reduce it to a biological error.
But it is not right to say that depression is a state of mind. Depression has certain biological reasons that are triggered due to certain social events. Therefore it is no mere state of mind.
To start with depression is usually a result of heredity. This means that if anyone in your close family is suffering from depression, there are chances that you might too suffer from it. Various independent research has shown that if any family member or siblings is suffering from depression, their child is predisposed to it. They are three times more likely to have depression A British research team also isolated a depression gene. The chromosome 3p25-26 leads to depression, as it has been found in more than 800 families with major depressive disorder.
Seortinin and depression
In addition, depression is linked to the happy neurotransmitter called serotonin. Depression is usually caused by the reduction of this neurotransmitter in the brain. There are various researchers that have linked the two together. Lack of serotonin, makes you feel sad and lonely therefore questioning your worth every now and then. The decrease in levels of the feel-good neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine have been considered to be a major reason for depression. In fact, the treatment of depression also focuses on increasing these chemicals in the brain.
Orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and depression
Finally, research in the neurology journal called Brain has shown that a specific part of the batin is directly connected to depression. The research found that pattern changes in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), the most important part of the batin can lead to depression.
The study was conducted using the MRI scans of more than 900 people, out of which 421 suffered from a depressive disorder. The brain scans of those who suffered from depression showed that there was a direct connection between the medial orbitofrontal cortex and lateral orbitofrontal cortex. These two parts of the orbitofrontal cortex are also seen to be linked to self-esteem and self-worth.
The medial orbitofrontal cortex is known to function when we receive positive reinforcement or a reward of any kind. However, this function is reduced in those who are depressed. Hence, explaining the sense of loss, disappointment, and low self-esteem. In people who suffer from depression. In addition, this also weakens the hippocampus, impacting the memory system.
The lateral OFC, then again, showed more grounded functional availability in people with depression. This area of the OFC is engaged with non-rewarding occasions and punishment. The lateral OFC showed solid associations with the precuneus which is related to the self-appreciation and the angular gyrus that is answerable for memory recovery and consideration, causing it hard for depressed people to have a positive outlook on themselves because of a simple review of pessimistic encounters.
These are not the only factors that cause depression. For depression, a social event triggering it is also necessary. However, it is not necessary that every human will react in the same way, some events may be difficult on a few and not on others. This may be the result of the psychological makeup, the ability to resist and fight back.
Therefore it is clear that depression is not just a state of mind, but it is a mental health disorder with biological, social, and psychological causes.
What is depression?
Now that we have established that depression is not a state of mind, the question is what is depression?
Depression is a mental health disorder that leaves a [erosn with extreme and sadness and lack of any desires. The person is seen to lack interest in anything and no pleasure is found in activities that were once cherished. Depression leaves the person sleepless and with no interest in eating anything.
Symptoms of depression
Here are a few symptoms of depression
- A feeling of misery and vacancy
- Absence of delight in any exercises (anhedonia)
- Feeling shameful
- Inordinate blame for reasons unknown
- Extraordinary annoyance
- Consistent aggravation
- A sleeping disorder or absence of rest
- Unfit to focus on anything
- Absence of craving or gorging
- Actual torments and throbs across the body
- Self-destructive considerations
Treatment of depression
We have known that depression is the most common mental health condition. As indicated by the National Institute of Mental Health, 6.7% of all US grown-ups matured 18 or over about 15.7 million individuals endured in any event one significant depressive episode in the previous year. With the given prevalence, the question is can depression be cured? Since depression is not a mere state of mind, there must be various treatments for it. Well to our relief there are various remains for depression. However, the best treatment is the combination of therapy of medication and psychotherapy.
Medications for depression
The most commonly used medications for depression are known as antidepressants. These antidepressants affect the levels of feel-good brain chemicals such as dopamine serotonin and norepinephrine. They block the reuptakes of these neurotransmitters, in turn increasing their levels in the body. There are five main types of antidepressants. They are
- Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), such as amitriptyline and imipramine (Tofranil)
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), like isocarboxazid (Marplan) and phenelzine (Nardil)
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and escitalopram (Lexapro)
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), such as duloxetine (Cymbalta) and venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
- Atypical antidepressants, including bupropion (Wellbutrin) and vortioxetine (Trintellix)
Therapies for depression
In addition, there are various therapies that can be used for the treatment of depression.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This is talk therapy where the therapist tries to identify the irrational behavior and thought patterns of the individual. The therapist tries to correct these by asking for string evidence. The goal is to identify the irrational and either turn them into rational or dismiss them completely.
- Electroconvulsive therapy: This is a therapy that is not used more often because of its ethical purposes. However, this therapy requires a small voltage of shock given to the client. By doing so, certain parts of the brain are activated resulting in mood regulation. This therapy is only to be done by professional and licensed psychologists.
- Transcranial Magnetic Therapy: Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatment is a non-intrusive treatment that coordinates repeating attractive energy beats at the districts of the mind that are associated with mood regulations. These magnetic pulses go effortlessly through the skull and animate synapses which can improve the correspondence between various pieces of the cerebrum and simplify depression manifestations.
The combination of medication with therapy is known to be effective 90% of the time. This means that there are very good chances of getting rid of depression. Nevertheless, due to the lack of awareness and great stigmatization attached to depression, a huge section of people suffering from mental health conditions are not receiving the treatment.
Ways to help yourself while dealing with depression
- Recall you are not answerable for feeling hence there can be a clinical explanation for it
- Record your contemplations so you can perceive what causes you to feel good and what exacerbates it
- Avoid liquor and medications. Self-sedating just removes the issue until you calm down and can really aggravate your downturn
- Take a break and accomplish something you would appreciate on different occasions. You probably won’t feel especially persuaded to get things done, however, cause yourself to do one thing you truly appreciate
- Head outside. Stroll around the square, around the back yard, or simply sit on your entryway patio and take in the sun. Inhale profoundly, breathing out gradually, and clear your brain; you may be amazed.
- Converse with somebody. There’s no should be humiliated about inclination discouraged or on edge; you may feel you’re irritating companions or family, yet there are helplines accessible in each city where you can call and discuss what’s happening.
- While you’re in it, just set little objectives. Approach things slowly and carefully; arriving at those little objectives will help you see some improvement.
- Sleep. Make sure you get enough sleep. Doing so will give your body the rest it needs. In fact, lack of sleep can then add to your body’s difficulties.
- Drink loads of water. It is seen that drinking enough water will help you with removing the toxins out of your body. Water is essential for human beings, enough water will keep you active and moving
- Eat healthy food. Eating enough as well nutrient-rich food is also important. Eating healthy food can again activate your body and help you fight depression. Avoid your cravings.
- Accomplish something pleasant for yourself. Pamper yourself, regardless of whether it’s simply getting a nail treatment or purchasing that indecently costly mug of espresso.
- Find support. Truly. Try not to experience this by itself. Get to the nearest clinical center, in the event that you don’t have a family specialist, or make an arrangement as fast as could reasonably be expected, particularly in the event that you begin contemplating harming yourself.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
In this article, we have tried to answer the question, is depression a state of mind or not. We have given three biological reasons that will show us the depression is not a state of mind. In the next section of the blog, we have looked at what is depression, the symptoms of depression, the treatment of depression, and how to help yourself while dealing with depression.
FAQs: Is depression a state of mind?
Which country has the most depression?
According to research, India is the most depressed country in the world, which is followed by the United States of America and China.
Is mental illness the same as depression?
No, there are various types of mental illness based on their cause and severity. Depression is one kind of mental illness that belongs to the spectrum of mood disorders.
Does everyone struggle with mental health?
It is not necessary that everyone suffers from mental illness in their life. However, it is natural that everyone will struggle or have a challenge with their mental well-being. It is not necessary that this challenge will then manifest as a mental health disorder.
What we recommend for depression
If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.