Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Depression is an Imblance in my Brain

What is depression?
Major depression is a serious medical condition. Everyone experiences "ups" and "downs" in their life. But for some people the "downs" can outweigh the "ups." This can cause problems with everyday activities such as eating, sleeping, working, and getting along with friends. If this happens for more than a few weeks, depression may be the reason.

Major depression affects a person's physical health, as well as how he or she feels, thinks, and acts toward others. It brings about a mixture of feelings and thoughts that can cause someone to depart from his or her usual behavior.

Major depression is very common — it affects an estimated 19 million American adults every year. Nearly twice as many women (6.5%) as men (3.3%) suffer from depression each year. The good news is that it is possible to manage the symptoms of depression.

What causes depression?
Although the exact causes of depression are unknown, it may be due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. Serotonin and norepinephrine are 2 chemicals used by some nerve cells to communicate. These chemicals, called neurotransmitters, are thought to be linked to depression. Therefore, medications that affect these neurotransmitters may play a role in treating depression.

A person may experience symptoms of depression suddenly, for no apparent reason, or after a life-changing event or medical illness. Some types of depression run in families, suggesting that a biological vulnerability can be inherited.