Like Personal Growth on Facebook
What is depression? What causes depression? And how to treat it? Here are the answers to these common questions in a short 3-minute video that explains the science of depression.
Even though many people still believe (wrongly) that depression is just a long-lasting bad mood or a negative mindset, scientists have long ago discovered that it actually is caused by different processes in the brain.
At first they thought depression was caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, but in the recent years scientists started to realise how complex depression really is.
For example the brain-cell growth in hippocampus part of the brain (which is responsible for emotion) is much more important than the chemical imbalance. The people with depression have a smaller hippocampus, and the longer they are depressed the smaller it gets. But certain modern drugs, especially those that affect the serotonin levels in the brain, can help increase the size of the hippocampus.
Another major discovery about the cause of depression is that genes actually play a big role. The genes that can cause depression are called serotonin transporter genes. Each person has two of those – each is inherited from one of the parents. The genes can be long or short, and if a person has at least one short gene they are more likely to get depressed than a person whose both genes are long.
Of course, even though we still do not know all the true causes of depression it has been proved that it is an illness as any other and not just a “bad mood”. Although unfortunately this myth about depression is still common.
For example even though at least 5 out of 100 people in the US suffer from depression(which accounts for 25 million people) only half of them seek medical advice and get treated. Which means that millions and millions of people around the world suffer from depression that only gets worse over time. This is why if you or someone you know is depressed please seek help immediately.