April 17, 2024

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What happens in the brain of a depressed person?

What happens in the brain of a depressed person?
Depression can be confused with other diseases such as thyroid disorders, diabetes, vitamin deficiency, etc., which represents a diagnostic challenge (illustrative image Infobae).

According to a scientific report published by the World Health Organization (WHO), in the first year International distribution Due to covid-19, widespread anxiety and The mental stress 25% increase.

“One of the main reasons for this increase mental stress Like never before Isolation Social due to epidemic. Added to this are limitations on people's ability to work, provide assistance to their loved ones, and participate in the life of their communities. Among the stress factors that cause anxiety and depression, the LonelinessHe fear infection, They suffer and die“Or loved ones must suffer that fate, the pain and financial worries caused by the loss of loved ones,” the agency explained.

Oscar A. Paulucci, Psychoanalyst, doctor specializing in psychiatry, full member of the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association (APA) Infobay In a recent note, the reasons for the increase in depression are broad: “Man has less and less safe place in the world, and he lives in a condition. Instability: Wars, forced migration, growing labor and emotional instability. place in 'Other' threatened with loss; “Social and affectionate relations are avoided.”

Another factor to take into account in these situations sadness And Depression is, according to Paulucci, The Loosening of relationships. “These are increasingly replaceable. Relationships end on WhatsApp or are canceled on Instagram. Quick replacement of another person appears and there is no room to expand losses,” the expert pointed out.

Depression affects 5% of the world's adults and challenges people's mental health and general well-being. Among its symptoms: insomnia, appetite and weight changes, and persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, or emptiness (Illustrative Image Information)

However, all people can feel Sad or down from time to timeBut these feelings usually go away in a short period of time, experts say, and that's what differentiates them from depression.

Irene AmpuroPublic health psychologist specializing in child, adolescent and adult therapy at the Claritas Institute of Psychology in Madrid, Spain. Infobay The key difference between recent depression and depression or sadness is that the former is considered a DisorderWhen depressed and sad Emotional states.

Ampuro explained: “Depression is diagnosed by at least five symptoms, which include: Depressed mood wave Loss of interest or pleasure, for at least two weeks. There may be changes in other symptoms loss of appetite Or weight, problems the dreamshortage EnergyFeelings of worthlessness or Blame, and difficulties concentrating. And, to make a diagnosis, these symptoms must occur Significant discomfort And negatively affect the life of the individual.

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But, the psychologist explained. Depression And this sadness Emotions as they are unstable, that is, they have a beginning and an end. “These emotions usually appear in response to a loss of something or someone. Although they are unpleasant, they are present function Important because they allow us to reflect It makes us more vulnerable to asking others for help about our choices.

Depression, on the other hand, “has its origins in a combination Biological factorsHaving a family history, etc. Individual factorsas forms Desperate thinkingand triggering factors, etc Stressful events in the person's life. These factors interact and lead to the development of depression.”

Experts highlight that emotional and economic instability, among other factors, contribute to an increase in emotional insecurity and depression (illustrative image infobay)

According to psychologist Ampuro, the guidelines should be minimal for patients to diagnose depression Five of these nine symptoms Noted for more than two weeks:

  1. feel sad or low-spirited
  2. Loss of interest or pleasure In the activities you once enjoyed
  3. Appetite changes/ Weight loss or gain is not related to diet
  4. Sleep problems or oversleeping
  5. Loss of energy or increased fatigue
  6. Increased physical activity without purpose (Inability to sit still, pacing from side to side, moving arms excessively). and slow speech and movements (these behaviors must be severe enough to be noticed by others)
  7. Uselessness or guilt
  8. Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
  9. Thoughts of death or suicide
Sometimes, depression and apathy appear before motor symptoms such as stiffness and tremors appear in Parkinson's patients (Illustrative Figure Infobay).

Understanding what happens in the body's central nervous system during depression is essential to advancing and reducing the development of more effective treatments. Stigma Related to this condition.

A Neurochemical statusDepression has been linked to decreased activity of key neurotransmitters SerotoninThe DopamineThe Melatonin And this Norepinephrine, illustrating the Psychiatry and Psychiatry Service of the Dexeu University Hospital, Barcelona. “Depending on which neurotransmitter(s) are most affected, different symptoms of depression appear, which is key to choosing the type. Pharmacological treatment”, company details.

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These chemicals are responsible for transmitting signals between nerve cells, and their imbalance can affect it Mood, cognition and sleep regulation. Serotonin depletion, in particular, is associated with feelings of sadness and despair.

A group of researchers From the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, a study was conducted which was later published Scientific reports. experts He concluded that people with depression have reduced brain white matter.

Experts say that depending on which neurotransmitters are most affected, the symptoms of depression are key to pharmacological treatment (Illustrative Image Infobase)

The results showed that people who were depressed or had symptoms of depression had less white matter in their brains. It is responsible for coordinating communications between different systems of the human body and between different parts of the brain.

On the other hand, some studies have found an association with depression, according to the Psiconnect Foundation Reducing the size of certain areas of the brain. This dose reduction is thought to be related to long-term exposure mental stressBecause it suppresses the growth of new ones Neurons. A decrease in the size of certain brain structures affects the function of these structures and explains some of the manifestations of depression. Some of the brain regions affected during depression include: hippocampus, An area of ​​the brain related to memory and learning plays a role in regulating emotions, including stress. frontal cortex, Basic when planning and making decisions.

Many illnesses can mimic depression, and errors in diagnosis can occur, experts say. Psychiatrist Jonathan E., chairman of the Research Council of the American Psychiatric Association. “The challenge for clinicians is that there is no definitive test for depression,” says Albert.

Thyroid problems can cause feelings of fatigue, sadness, and irritability, which can also be symptoms of depression.

“You can't send someone for a blood test or an MRI to diagnose depression,” said the expert, who is chair of psychology and behavioral sciences at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert College of Medicine. Einstein, United Nations. So, there are at least 9 diseases that follow depression, but they are as follows:

  • Thyroid Disorder: They can cause feelings of fatigue, sadness and irritability, and symptoms of depression.
  • diabetes: Symptoms of depression include fatigue, irritability and unexplained weight loss, characteristic of the disease.
  • Vitamin D and B12 deficiency.
  • Cancer. Many of the symptoms attributed to depression — loss of appetite, weight loss and fatigue, for example — can also be early signs of cancer, Albert said.
  • Dementia. Early symptoms of dementia include social withdrawal and loss of interest in activities, which are similar symptoms to depression.
  • Parkinson's disease. The condition causes chemical changes in the brain, the loss of dopamine neurons, leading to a loss of motivation, engagement and interest, Albert said.
Diabetes can be confused with depression due to its impact on energy levels and mood, and its diagnosis requires blood glucose tests (illustrated image information).
  • Anemia: It can cause fatigue, weakness and difficulty concentrating, leading to symptoms of depression.
  • Side effects of drugs. More than 200 drugs have been linked to sadness, depression and suicidal thoughts.
  • Prolonged grief
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Treatment for depression is usually individualized and may involve a combination of factors Clinical, therapeutic and lifestyle approaches. They include PsychotherapyMedicines AntidepressantsExercise, lifestyle changes and social support.

Additionally, a person with depression may do many things to take care of themselves. Recommendations from the US National Institute of Psychiatry (NIMH):

  • Try to do physical activity. 30 minutes of walking a day can improve your mood.
  • Try to maintain a regular bedtime and wake up time.
  • Eat healthy foods regularly.
The US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recommends physical activity, maintaining regular sleep schedules, eating healthy foods and avoiding substance use as part of self-care for depression – (illustrative image information)
  • Do what you can, however you can. Decide what you need to do and what you can put off.
  • Try to communicate with others Talk to someone you trust about how you feel.
  • Postpone important decisions Life until you feel better.
  • Avoid consumption of alcohol, tobacco or drugsThis includes medicines that are not prescribed for you.

In addition to helping with medical counseling, NIMH recommends the following actions:

  • Provide supportUnderstanding and encouraging, and being patient with the depressed person.
  • Invite her for a walkWalk or participate in other activities.
  • Help her follow the treatment plan.
  • Make sure you have transportation to go to their psychotherapy sessions.
  • Remind yourself that depression will go away with time and treatment.