Skip to main content

Identifying and Treating Depression

The brain is the most powerful organ in a human body, yet depression (like many other forms of mental illness) is still a largely stigmatized disorder. Unfortunately, it also happens to be a widespread problem, as an estimated 19 million adults in the United States alone live with it. Symptoms typically manifest in patients between the ages of 20 and 30, and the disorder is often diagnosed through patients self-reporting of symptoms such as changes in self-esteem, appetite, sleep patterns, or enjoyment in everyday activities. Science has yet to fully understand what causes depression, but it is thought to be a mixture of hereditary, sociological, and psychological triggers.

The most common scientific explanation for depression is an imbalance in the levels of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, all of which are chemicals that are naturally present to regulate brain function. When these chemicals become imbalanced, there may be a high level of one and a low level of another, thereby causing an imbalance. Depression also often comes with other issues, typically in the form of anxiety or general pain. Both of these problems have high instances of occurrence in depressed adults. However, they make diagnoses of the problem much easier for medical professionals, as patients can self-report these symptoms.

Currently modern medicine offers several approaches to treating depression. The most common school of thought surrounding the disorder claims that there is a direct relation between levels of stress in an individual and their levels of depression. Treating depression often involves treating anxiety and helping patients cope with stressors in their lives in the form of therapy and counseling. The addition of anti-depressants is often made as well. These drugs help to regulate the levels of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, which can offer immense relief to patients. There are also several theories concerning the brains of depressed people vs a healthy person, which state that there are differences in the shape of several important parts of the brain between the two. Poverty, child abuse, and social isolation are all thought to increase the risk for mental illness in general quite drastically. It is thought that when a highly stressful live event occurs without social support, the risk for depression in that person also tends to rise drastically.  Alcohol and drug use also are known to contribute heavily to depression.

Once diagnosed with depression, patients have several treatments to choose from. The most common is psychotherapy, in the form of group or individual therapy sessions. Antidepressants, while typically ineffective in patients with mild to moderate depression, are often given to those with severe depression. The success rate for antidepressants is thought to be more effective for severe depression because this is usually the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. The final method for treating depression that has not responded to other therapies is called electroconvulsive therapy. This involves stimulating parts of the brain while the patient is sedated, and has shown great success for those suffering heavily.  No matter what level of depression you may be suffering from, there is help available.


Popular posts from this blog

9 Good CD And DVD Burning Tools For Ubuntu/Linux

There is no dearth of good CD/DVD burning tools for Ubuntu. Brasero Disc Burner comes as default in Ubuntu and it is a good enough tool with almost all functionalities you expect from a basic CD/DVD burning application. But what really are the alternatives. Here is a quick listing of very good CD/DVD burning applications available for Linux(in no particular order). Read on.

K3B - KDE Burning Tool
K3B has been my favorite CD/DVD burning tool ever since I started using Ubuntu some 4 years ago. K3B is a Qt based application and it might look a bit out of place in Ubuntu GNOME desktop. But from a functionality point of view K3B is far ahead of all its competitors.

GnomeBaker Burning Tool

GnomeBaker is a free and open source CD/DVD authoring application for Linux. It is based on GNOME desktop environment. GnomeBaker comes equipped with functionalities like: Drag and drop to create data CDs (including drag and drop to and from the Nautilus file manager), Create audio CDs from existing WAV, MP3…

The Most Effective Weight Loss Program Involves Better Habits

The Most Effective Weight Loss Program Involves Better Habits

Every member of the family probably recognizes the best way they can stay fit and remain slender, even if they require significant amount of weight loss. Typically, fit families are those that have established habits based on a healthy lifestyle. This is often challenging within a busy home, where both parents are off working throughout the day.

Managing a weight loss system in an active family requires dedication of consuming a balanced diet, and performing regular exercise. While it might appear to be much more convenient to simply stop by the fast food joint for dinner, than to prepare a healthy meal, in the long run it can cause significant issues and diminish the health of the family.

An effective weight loss program to keep the family fit and slender requires basic steps. These include:

Do Not Forget Breakfast – Yes it is true that the most essential meal of the day is breakfast. Without it, the body’s metabolism will…

Hair Loss In Women

Hair Loss In Women

Every one of us loses hair every day.   We lose it during our shower, we lose it while we blow dry our hair or when we brush our hair and this loss is all normal.  Typically we lose an average of 50 to 100 hundred hairs per day and normally for each hair we lose, we grow a new one to replace it.  However, at times hair loss may be a sign of a more serious medical condition that needs to be evaluated by a dermatologist for possible treatment.  Here are some possible causes of hair loss in women and how to deal with them.


This is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the hair follicles.  This disease affects 4.7 million people in the U.S. and occurs equally between women and men.  The cause is not known for sure, but may be triggered by illness or stress.  The condition can occur in three in three different forms including alopecia areata, alopecia universalis and alopecia totalis.

Skin Conditions of the Scalp

Unhealthy scalp conditions that…