What is Depression?

It would be impossible to fully describe depression in just a few words but if you will take the time to read this informational article titled “What is Depression” I am sure you will at least leave with a general understanding of the condition as well as the overall scope of the this very real psychological concern. But before we get stated let’s take the time to review a basic definition.


The Merck Manual of Medical Information (Second Edition) described depression as the feeling of intense sadness; it may follow a recent loss or other sad event but is out of proportion to that event and persists beyond an appropriate length of time. End of definition.


The scope and breath of depression is staggering. The World Health Organization estimates that on any given day 121 people worldwide suffer the gloomy and sometimes dark condition known as depression. While so many other diseases have seen their occurrences drop, depression rates continue to escalate. Perhaps the most troubling of these rapidly escalating numbers is the fact that area seeing the most rapid increase is in children and teens. Some experts believe that the designer status of such drugs as Ritalin is fueling the phenomenon.


Medical research has yet to determine the cause of depression. Many respected experts have various ideas as to the possible cause of depression.


Here are a few of the plethora of suspected causes:

* Imbalance in brain chemistry

* Heredity

* Childhood experiences

* Lack of positive thinking

* Improvised environment

* Cultural experiences

* Learned patterns of behavior

* Problems with relationships

* Medications


Resent research trying to determine exactly what depression is seems to have struck out, when it comes to finding a particular cause. The conclusion was: depression is a witches brew of psychological and physical factors interacting with each other.


From a more technical point of view current research is focusing on the way neurotransmitters work in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that are responsible for communicating messages from one neuron to the next. Of particular focus in determining what is depression are the 3 musketeers of neurotransmitters; norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. Some simply call them the feel good hormones. There is a very good chance that imbalances in these three neurotransmitter hormones contribute to depression in a substantial way.


In summary, there are more questions than answers when it comes to nailing down the specifics of depression. One thing is for sure depression is one of the most serious health concerns of our time and if you are one of the 121 million people who are suffering from depression today seeking profession help should not be flippantly discounted.


Additionally, many people are considering natural treatments for depression due to the side effects associated with prescription antidepressant medication such as Zoloft. These natural depression treatment options are very safe and have been shown to be effective for emotional health and well-being in mild cases of depression.

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