Depression... the cloud of sadness over life. Sometimes the clouds lightly shadow the joys of life but they still shines through. It’s a mild discomfort but you have learned to live with it. And even when the sun is out, you know there will be another sad day to come.
Sometimes depression is seen as dark angry clouds. Have you ever known someone to be easily angered and frustrated at the drop of a hat? That can also be an expression of depression. We think depression is always expressed through sadness but sometimes its through anger, especially for men.
For other people the clouds move in and the sunshine is just absent. The world is colored by thoughts and feelings of pain or deep numbness. The hurt can come and go in waves or stay for days or weeks at a time. Some times it feels unbearable to survive. And it is hard to see any sunshine at all.
Depression isn’t the same for everyone. But you might experience:
What happens in the brain of depression:
Historically, research studies on depression proposed that depression is caused by low levels of individual neurotransmitters - serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and/or histamine - in the brain. However, we now understand that depression is caused by a complex interplay between genetics, dysfunctional systems of brain circuits, temperament/personality traits and environmental stressors.
In the brain, the most common abnormalities found on MRI are bright spots in the basal ganglia and the thalamus and reduced sizes of the hippocampus and caudate nucleus, all of which are deeper, more primitive regions of the brain with complex functions preserved across mammalian species. PET scans of depressed patients commonly show decreased metabolism/brain activity in the frontal brain regions which are responsible for attention, memory, concentration, mood regulation, and other higher-level brain functions that make humans uniquely prone to bouts of depression.