Depression is a mood disorder that causes one to experience a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1What is depression?
- 2Depression symptoms in children and teens
- 3Depression symptoms in older adults
- 4What are the causes of depression?
- 5What factors increase the risk of developing depression?
- 6What are the effects of Depression on the Brain?
- 7What are Hippocampal Atrophy Effects on Depression Patients?
- 8How does monitoring brain waves aid Depression?
- 9What are the Benefits of Brain Training?
Depression is a mood disorder that causes one to experience a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn't worth living. Depression isn’t a weakness and one cannot simply snap out of it.
Although depression may occur once during your lifetime, people tend to have multiple episodes of depression. Often during these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, every day and can include;
- Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
- Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
- Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
- Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
- Changes in appetite — often reduced appetite and weight loss, but increased cravings for food and weight gain in some people
- Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself for things that aren't your responsibility
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
- Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
For many who suffer from depression, sypmtoms often become sever enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day normal activities. Others may feel miserable or unhappy without knowing exactly why.
Common signs and symptoms of depression in children and teenagers are similar to those of adults, but there can be some differences;
- In younger children, symptoms of depression may include sadness, irritability, clinginess, worry, aches and pains, refusing to go to school, or being underweight.
- In teens, symptoms may include sadness, irritability, feeling negative and worthless, anger, poor performance or poor attendance at school, feeling misunderstood and extremely sensitive, using drugs or alcohol, eating or sleeping too much, self-harm, loss of interest in normal activities, and avoidance of social interaction.
- Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can demonstrate irritability without sadness or loss of interest. However, major depression can occur with ADHD.
Depression is not a normal part of growing older, and it should never be taken lightly. Unfortunately, depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated in older adults, and they may feel reluctant to seek help. Symptoms of depression may be different or less obvious in older adults, such as:
- Memory difficulties or personality changes
- Physical aches or pain
- Fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep problems, aches or loss of interest in sex — not caused by a medical condition or medication
- Often wanting to stay at home, rather than going out to socialize or doing new things
- Suicidal thinking or feelings, especially in older men
It's not known exactly what causes depression. As with many mental disorders, a variety of factors may be involved, such as:
Biological differences. People with depression appear to have physical changes in their brains. The significance of these changes is still uncertain, but may eventually help pinpoint causes.
Brain chemistry. Neurotransmitters are naturally occurring brain chemicals that likely play a role in depression. Recent research indicates that changes in the function and effect of these neurotransmitters and how they interact with neurocircuits involved in maintaining mood stability may play a significant role in depression and its treatment.
Hormones. Changes in the body's balance of hormones may be involved in causing or triggering depression. Hormone changes can result with pregnancy and during the weeks or months after delivery (postpartum) and from thyroid problems, menopause or a number of other conditions.
Inherited traits. Depression is more common in people whose blood relatives also have this condition. Researchers are trying to find genes that may be involved in causing depression.
Depression often begins in the teens, 20s or 30s, but it can happen at any age. More women are diagnosed with depression than men, but this may be due in part because women are more likely to seek treatment.
- Lack of Sleep- Read more about Sleep Studies on Sleep Renewal
Factors that seem to increase the risk of developing or triggering depression include:
- Certain personality traits, such as low self-esteem and being too dependent, self-critical or pessimistic
- Traumatic or stressful events, such as physical or sexual abuse, the death or loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or financial problems
- Childhood trauma or depression that started when you were a teen or child
- Blood relatives with a history of depression, bipolar disorder, alcoholism or suicide
- Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in an unsupportive situation
- History of other mental health disorders, such as anxiety disorder, eating disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Abuse of alcohol or illegal drugs
- Serious or chronic illness, including cancer, stroke, chronic pain or heart disease
- Certain medications, such as some high blood pressure medications or sleeping pills (talk to your doctor before stopping any medication)
Researchers have found a link between depression and the size of the sufferer’s brain. Often those who suffer from depression tend to have more immediate concerns than the long-term effects of depression on ones body. A certain section of the brain, the hippocampus, is believed to shrink in those suffering from depression.
The hippocampus is the section of the brain associated with memory recall and emotions. The shrinkage problem appears to be most marked in cases of depression that last for multiple days and recur frequently. This shrinkage is generally minor and is usually connected only with an increased risk of further depressive episodes. In addition to a predicted increase in incidents of depression, this reduction in size of the hippocampus is linked to possible memory loss.
By using a FDA approved device that monitors brain waves, it can assist doctors in diagnosing depression in children and adults. This is a non-invasive brain-mapping test that takes 15-20 min, which uses sensors on the scalp of the person to monitor their brainwaves.
After a practitioner takes a detailed MAP of the patient, they will perform a set of tasks such as playing Pac Man with the brain.
There is a high success rate of treatment of these disorders with Neuro-Feedback, both with adults and children. Each Disorder or Ailment, can be improved through many avenues with depression, the goal of Neuro-Feedback is to teach the brain how to focus.
Your brain is central to everything; from how easily you remember to how fast you complete tasks and how easily you solve problems. Studies show that the gains you make from Brain Training are applicable to an almost endless variety of mental activities, from what you think, to what you do.
From the speed of your brain, memory, flexibility, attention, and problem solving, Brain Trainer ensures that its protocols provide the maximum benefit for your long term cognitive health.