Diet and Relief from Depression: Biology or Placebo?

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Introduction

Nowadays, arguably more than any other time in history, mental health is a major social issue. With the constant advancement of the psychological sciences we, as a race, are understanding ourselves more and more every day. With such knowledge comes the desire to use it for the betterment of others; one such area being that of depression and depressive symptomology. According to a 2013 Statistics Canada survey the number of people in Canada who had been diagnosed with a mood disorder, including depression, was a little under 2.3 million people; following the general increasing trend from the 1.8 million in 2009 [1]. Considering this it is safe to say that depression is a major issue in Canadian society and is only increasing in importance. So how do we combat this hurdle? Well according to the same census, other notable trends that have been present alongside the increase in depression is the decrease of fruit and vegetable consumption (from 12.4 million people in 2009 to 11.6 in 2013) and increase in self-reported obesity (from 12.7 million people in 2009 to 13.9 million in 2013). Could there be a relation between diet and depression? The focus of this research will be to find an answer to that question.

Depression

Rehm, L. (2010). Depression. Toronto: Hogrefe.

Depression: (1) Depression can be defined as a severe emotional disorder that involves a prolonged feeling of sadness that is out of proportion to the force pressing on a person. (2) Depression can also be defined as a response to loss or a perception of loss.

If we remove a man from his characteristic surroundings, a large part of his social behavior cannot be emitted and may therefore become more and more probable: he will return to his old surroundings whenever possible and will be particularly “sociable” when he does so. Other parts of his behavior become strong because they are automatically reinforced under the prevailing deprivation; he will talk to anyone who will listen about his old surroundings, his old friends, and what he used to do. This is all a result of deprivation. But nostalgia is also an emotional condition in which there is a general weakening of other forms of behavior—a “depression,” which may be quite profound. We cannot classify this as the result of deprivation because the behavior which is thus affected has not been specifically restrained - B.F Skinner

Types

  • Major Depression- Depression begins to interfere with the individuals life. Symptoms include low prolonged moods that last unto two weeks. Moods can be moderate or severe.
  • Post-partum depression- Depression that occurs a couple days after a mother gives birth. Described as a "blue" feeling. May affect mother and child's relationship. Another form includes (Antenatal) which is a fr of depression that occurs while a woman is pregnant.
  • Psychoatic depression - This type of depression includes mild form of psychosis. An individual may lose touch with reality. Symptoms include hallucinations, paranoia, being unable to differentiate between reality and illusions.
  • Seasonal affective disorder - A mood disorder that occurs in a certain season. For example, one might get depressed during the winter and in the spring depressive symptoms disappear. This mood disorder has been associated with light disturbances that affect an individuals mood.
  • Dysthymia - A mild form of major depression but lasts longer. Symptoms usually occur for years
  • Melancholia - A form of depression where physical symptoms of prevalent, very severe form of depression.

Symptoms:

Signs and Symptoms of Depression. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/men-and-depression/signs-and-symptoms-of-depression/index.shtml


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It should be noted that not everyone with depression will experience every symptom associated with depression, some people may experience all the symptoms over a period of time other’s may experience just a few. The severity of the symptoms depends on the person and their circumstances. Here are some of the symptoms of depression:

  • Prolonged feeling of sadness, hopelessness, anxiousness
  • Constant irritability
  • Excessive weight gain or weight loss
  • Body Image distortion
  • Loss of interest in once pleasurable activities and or hobbies
  • Feelings of excessive guilt and or shame
  • Insomnia
  • Crying spells
  • Diminished Will
  • Low Self - Esteem/ Loss in codence
  • Problems with memory and or concentration
  • Dysphoria
  • Loss of libido
  • Social withdrawal
  • Anhedonia
  • Fatigue and loss of interest
  • Social withdrawal
  • Reoccurring thoughts of death
  • Suicide attempts

Causes:


Rehm, L. (2010). Depression. Toronto: Hogrefe.

There is no one single cause to depression, Depression can be triggered by a number of events/reasons. Here are some of the causes of depression:

  • Prolonged Stress
  • Biological factors: It has been indicated that depression does have a significant genetic component that eventual interacts with the individuals environment to produce depression. the more severe the depression is the more of a genetic contribution it contains.
  • Alcohol and or substance abuse
  • Psychological tendencies: Individuals who are more probed to excessive stress, low self esteem/confidence, and a negative view of the world are more vulnerable to depression. For example, perfectionist tendencies, avoidance tendencies, obsessive tendencies, pessimistic tendencies, rejection sensitive, self critical, etc.
  • Death: The loss of a significant other
  • Economical stress: Loss of job, Money stress
  • Trauma: Abuse (Sexual,psychological, Verbal) Death of a loved one, Serious accidents that lead to injury, Disasters, Jail, End of a significant relationship, etc.
  • Medical Illness: Suffering from certain diseases and or after surgery individuals may encounter stress, feelings of hopelessness that can lead to depression.

http://www.uhs.berkeley.edu/lookforthesigns/clinicaldepression.shtml

Treatments:


Rehm, L. (2010). Depression. Toronto: Hogrefe.
Dubuc, B. (2002). THE BRAIN FROM TOP TO BOTTOM. Retrieved from http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/i/i_08/i_08_p/i_08_p_dep/i_08_p_dep.html

Depending on the specific type of depression and the specific individual’s needs, A therapist will determine the best method of treatment for the individual. Two individuals may suffer from the exact same type of depression but may each be suited for different treatment types. One must keep in mind that depression is a chronic disorder and relapses may occur despite seeking treatment. The type's of treatments include:

  • Anti-depressants: This medication works by attempting to correct the chemical brain imbalance that depressed patients suffer from. Anti depressants are usually described to those suffering from more severe forms of depression. These types of medication also allows for the depressed individuals to sleep regularly, Increase in energy, and allow for more positive thoughts to occur.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: This type of therapy deals with the negative thoughts and behaviours that are attributed to depression. The main goal of the therapist is to reverse their negative thought process and behaviour and teach the individual new ways to think and act that are more positive.
  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy: Attributed to Klerman, Weissman, Rounceville, and Chevron (1984). This type therapy deals with specific interpersonal issues such as: Grief, Role transitioning, Interpersonal conflicts, Communication,etc. In Interpersonal psychotherapy the therapist attempts to treat depression by relating the symptoms onset to specific interpersonal conflicts and or issues. For example, an unresolved dispute with a significant other may lead to the onset of depression for the individual.
  • Electroshock Therapy: Electroshock therapy is mostly used when a patient can not find relive of depression from anti-depressants. The individual is given either muscle relaxers or anaesthesia, shocks that last for a couple of seconds are given to brain.The therapy is affective by promoting neurotransmitters in the brain that are low in individuals with depression, it has been noted that when the neurotransmitters are promoted it helps alleviate depression to an extent.
  • Psychoanalytic Therapy: Based on the idea’s of Freud, Jung, and Erikson; This type of therapy deals with the understanding of the patient and their view of the world. Psychoanalytic therapists try to understand the patient’s preoccupations, anxieties, difficulties, character and, above all, by his or her way of relating. This therapy is personal and requires an intimate emotional relationship between the patient and therapist. The process requires the individual to see the therapist multiple times a week and the healing emotional process can take years.

Depression Statistics

Geographical

Pederson, T. (n.d.). Depression Takes a Serious Toll Around the World. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/11/09/depression-takes-a-serious-toll-around-the-world/61798.html

A newly published study in the journal PLOS Medicine, have said that globally, the Middle East and North Africa are the regions that have the highest concentration of people diagnosed with depressive disorders. Researchers at University of Queensland in Australia discovered that a tad more than 4% of the world’s population is diagnosed with depression. The study discovered that in regions of the Middle East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean, more than 5% of the population suffer from depression. The most depressed country is known to be Afghanistan, where more than 20% of the nation’s population suffers from the disorder, while the least depressed is discovered to be Japan, with slightly less than 2.5% of depressed inhabitants. Depression can be frequently found in places where people are experiencing conflicts and disputes. For instance, Afghanistan, Honduras and the Palestinian territories are the three most depressed territories in a global context.

Economical

Glover, H. (2011, July 22). Global depression statistics. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from http://www.biomedcentral.com/presscenter/pressreleases/20110722
Pederson, T. (n.d.). Depression Takes a Serious Toll Around the World. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/11/09/depression-takes-a-serious-toll-around-the-world/61798.html

Based on words of over 89,000 interviewees, 15% of the population in high-income countries was likely to develop depression over the span of their lifetime whereas it was shown that 11% of the population in countries with lower-income was at risk. In 2010, 5.5% of people in high-income nations have had depression. Major Depressive Episode (MDE) patients had more occurrences in high-income countries as well. 28% of depressive people had MDE in wealthier countries compared to 20% for less affluent countries. The prevalence of MDE were particularly concentrated (over 30%) in France, the Netherlands, the United States, and India. The nation of lowest incidence was shown to be China at 12%.The investigators warn that data from some countries which are economically worse off may lack reliability, leaving the researchers to build their own estimates from regression models. An explanation for this tendency could come from the fact that residents of countries with economic stability would have easier access to mental health services, and therefore those countries may naturally have a higher rate of diagnosis. This may support the unusually low rate in Iraq, for instance, where public health services are poorly performed.

Gender


Glover, H. (2011, July 22). Global depression statistics. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from http://www.biomedcentral.com/presscenter/pressreleases/20110722


Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bayridgetreatmentcenter.com/facts_statistics.html

A general tendency in gender could be spotted globally as well. Women were twice as more likely to experience depression as men and the most contributing factor for both men and women is loss of their partners, whether it was from death or separation (end of relationship).One of every five women is expected to develop clinical depression at some point in her lifetime. 
One third of depressed women will seek assistance from experts.
Suicide rate of depressed women is a tad less than 15%. 
About 10% of women will undergo postpartum depression following the birth of a child.
Married women have higher depression rates than single women, with depression most likely occurring during childbearing years. 
Depression or anxiety symptoms in women are found the most frequently between the ages of 25 and 44. Though half the amount of men are at risk of depression compared to women, men are three times as more probable to commit suicide than women.
One in seven men will develop depression or anxiety within half a year of leaving work (being laid off or fired, quitting or retiring).

Age

Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bayridgetreatmentcenter.com/facts_statistics.html

Studies show that onset of depression and anxiety ensues earlier in life today than in earlier decades.During childhood, the rate of depression among boys and girls is about equal.
At the phase of entering puberty, girls are twice as probable as boys to experience depression.
A nationwide survey conducted among Canadian youth found that 6.5% or over a quarter million of adolescents between ages of 15 and 24 met the criteria for major depressive disorder.
About 6 million elderly people are affected by depression, more women than men.
People in older age groups have the highest risk of suicide.
Suicides committed by the elderly account for a quarter out of all. Approximately 15% of those over the age of 65 undergo depression. Depression rate among elderly residing in nursing homes can reach as high as 25%.
About 10% of the elderly with depression seek professional aid.

Culture

Pederson, T. (n.d.). Depression Takes a Serious Toll Around the World. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/11/09/depression-takes-a-serious-toll-around-the-world/61798.html

Some cultures (in East Asia for instance) often hold negative conceptions against those with mental illnesses. This may be true for many places and cultures, but higher number of people in East Asia seems to view mental illnesses with stronger negativity. People with symptoms of depression may fear the prejudice she could face and refuse to seek clinical assistance. This could also cut down diagnosis rates, resulting in an inaccurate measure of depression in the areas.

Depression and Diet

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Folic Acid

Christensen, L. (1996). Diet-behavior relationships: Focus on depression. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Individuals with depression posses low folic acid levels, which is dangerous because this deficiency can lead to an influence in already present depressive symptom such as: increased irritability, memory loss, etc. Folic Acid is well known for preventing Birth defects, but in 1962 Victor Herbert conducted a study that tested the affects of low folic acid intakes. For four months individuals were given low doses of Folic acid and resulted in insomnia, irritability, memory loss, and depression. But when the individuals in the study all began folate replacement therapy, within 48 hours all the symptoms disappeared. Depression can encourage appetite changes which might make one susceptible to low folic acid levels and when absorbed in our bodies anti-depressants absorb a large amount of folic acid creating a deficit. To avoid Folic Acid deficiency an individual with depression should increase spinach, Chickpeas, pinto beans, lima beans, Papaya, and avocado intake.

B12

Christensen, L. (1996). Diet-behavior relationships: Focus on depression. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Multiple studies have linked B-12 deficiency to both mild and severe depression. B-12 directly affects the production of Dopamine, Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps the body experience pleasure. Low levels of dopamine in a depressed individual would prolong their depression. B vitamins are linked to mood and a depletion in B vitamins leads too depression, irritability, anxiousness, etc. B12 deficiency is a serious problem in North America and has been accredited to western diets and their low nutritional value. B-12 also maintains our nervous system and blood cells in the brain through certain chemical reactions. Severe B-12 depletion can lead to hallucinations, paranoia, memory loss, etc.

Protein and carbohydrates

Christensen, L. (1996). Diet-behavior relationships: Focus on depression. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Carbohydrate consumption in our body releases insulin into out body which then, takes the blood sugar and inserts it into cell giving our bodies a boost of energy. Carbohydrate consumption also triggers and allows tryptophan to enter the brain which increases the neurotransmitters in the brain. Tryptophan allows our bodies to feel good, avoiding sluggish and fatigued physical symptoms. When an individual is depressed they tend to have an increased yearning for junk food, which alleviate their depressive symptoms. Unhealthy carbohydrates are rich in glycemic index, which are responsible for immediate temporary relief. In 1987 Fernstrom studied depressed vs. non-depressed individuals to find that person's who were depressed and experiencing negative thoughts leaned towards junk food and those who experienced positive thoughts leaned towards healthy food. Proteins are made up of the 8 essential amino acids needed, while the other essential 12 are made in our bodies. Many of the neurotransmitters needed for our brain are made up of amino acids, low amino acid intake would mean low neurotransmitter levels which would deplete mood and create aggressive and irritable behaviour.

Tryptophan and Serotonine

Christensen, L. (1996). Diet-behavior relationships: Focus on depression. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Serotonine.PNG

Individuals with depression have been found to have low serotonin levels. Serotonine regulates our appetite, impulse control, and sleep regulation. An increase in serotonin levels is associated with a positive mood elevation increase. Increasing your B-6 intake will allow for the production of tryptophan which would then increase serotonin levels. In 1989 Wurtman and Wurtman suggested that a diet rich in healthy carbohydrates can elevate mood. Serotonine levels can drop with lack of sleep, prolonged stress, anxiety, and an increase in simple sugars in an individual's diet. Many of the factors that cause serotonine levels to drop are symptoms of depression. Optimum levels of serotonine increase confidence levels.

Vitamin Deficiency

Christensen, L. (1996). Diet-behavior relationships: Focus on depression. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Before 1912, the world was not aware of the relationship between vitamins and Mood and now through years of research we know precisely the affects of vitamins in our bodies. Vitamin deficiency now is due to the lack of nutrients entering one's body from an unhealthy diet. Individuals with depression have low folic acid levels and extremely low B12 levels that elevates their depression both mentally and physically. As seen in the table, there is a clear relationship between certain vitamins and our mood.

Table 1.1: Psychological symptoms associated with Vitamin Deficiencies:

Vitamin Symptoms
Thiamin Anorexia, Difficulty thinking/concentrating, Suicidal thoughts.
Riboflavin Inability to adjust to tasks, Apathy, indifference.
Niacin Depression, Insomnia, increased irritability, fatigue, anxiety, memory loss, hallucinations, etc.
Pyridoxine Weakness, insomnia, and irratabilty.
Cyanocobalamine (B12) Depression, dullness, loss of self control, headaches, apathy, etc.
Folic Acid Depression, loss of sense of well being.
Ascorbic Acid Lack of energy, crying spells, inability to adjust, lack of stamina, etc.

Exercise

Miller, M. (2009, January 1). Exercise and Depression. Retrieved from http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/exercise-and-depression-report-excerpt

"Exercise gives them back control of their bodies and this is often the first step to feeling in control of other events"- Dr. Alan Cohen

Those who suffer from moderate to mild forms of depression can find their symptoms alleviated with prolonged exercise. When exercising endorphins are released throughout the body. Endorphins are relieve the perception of pain throughout the body, create natural immunity, and boosts one’s mood. Also, when exercise is taking place the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which has been scientifically linked to automatically improve one’s mood. Exercise is also a natural self esteem booster, when prolonged physical activity takes place it increases one’s self esteem, on of the main symptoms of depression. Some examples of these exercises include: Yoga, Running, Bike riding, Swimming, etc.

“ A study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 1999, divided 156 men and women with depression into three groups. One group took part in an aerobic exercise program, another took the SSRI sertraline (Zoloft), and a third did both. At the 16-week mark, depression had eased in all three groups. About 60%–70% of the people in all three groups could no longer be classed as having major depression.” The aerobic exercise worked just as well as the Anti-depressant medication given to the two other groups in the study. For patients who prefer a more natural route to healing, exercise is a valid option.

General diets and dietary patterns

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-244X/13/175

This article is a computer-aided literature search using the information databases PsycINFO, CINAHL, and Medline. Articles were searched for on these databases using eligibility and quality guidelines to help narrow down the search results. This article’s main focus was on if general diets (such as a Western or whole fold diet) can affect depression in any way; both positively and negatively. Under this focus the article examined many subtopics including: “Traditional diets and the risk/likelihood of depression”, “Healthy, low-calorie, or whole food diets, or well-balanced and the risk/likelihood of depression”, “Western or less healthy diets and the risk/likelihood of depression”, and “Depression as a predictor of diet quality”. The results that were found all had a conflicting level of evidence with little consensus between the articles and studies. There were however some subtopics that seemed to have a somewhat more notable trend toward one side or the other. One example of this would be for the “Western or less healthy diets and the risk/likelihood of depression” subtopics. Although results were mixed, the majority of papers found no association between a Western diet and the likelihood of depressive symptomatology or depression compared to those that did by a ratio of 7 articles to 3. Another notable trend was found for the “Traditional diets and the risk/likelihood of depression” subtopics. Both a study for a traditional Mediterranean diet and a study for a traditional Norwegian diet found no association between their respective diets and depression. There however was only one study conducted for both these areas so the evidence is far from conclusive. As you can see although there is some notable trends in this area the majority of results for general diets and an association with depression are highly conflicting. It should be worth noting that this article prefaced by stating that it was not going to focus on vitamin/mineral specific correlations because they believe that a relationship had already been established by other research. No further comment on this area was given.

Redefined Sugars, Processed Food, Caffeine, Etc.

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http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/07/11/7-foods-that-may-contribute-to-your-depression/
http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/991783/top-5-foods-that-trigger-depression

Refined sugar and artificial sweeteners are both processed sugar and they are used as additives in our food. Although they taste good and provide us energy for 20 minutes, our blood glucose reaches high levels that leads to disruption of our good mood and blocks the production of neurotransmitter serotonin and causes mood dips. Even candy, almost everyone likes them also cause negative result on our mood, because sugar in candy stimulates the production of insulin for removing the them from our bloodstream. Thus, the only thing we feel is tired and low.Processed food is another reason why we feel depressed. From example, hot dogs, sausages and cakes increase our risk for depression. According to the study in London, people who eat this kind of food have a 58 percentage higher risk of having bad mood compared to those who have “whole” food, such as fish and vegetable. Processed food which contains trans fat, like fried chicken and French fries not only contributes to depression but also clogs arteries.Many fat-free foods have extra amount of sodium. Despite we need sodium to maintain our lives, too much sodium influences our neurological system and that directly leads to depression. The American Heart Association suggests that the amount of sodium we need every is 1500 mg or less.Coffee and caffeinated drinks can contributes to depression and anxiety as well. We all know that caffeine disrupts sleep and keeps us excited. This kind of disturbances affect our mood. Our brain’s serotonin levels are inhibited by caffeine and we can become depressed and irritable. Many people think that alcohol can help us ease stress and anxiety, while those negative aspects are only temporary. People who drink alcohol a lot are likely to be dependent on that substance. The more they drink, the more they need. This situation will leave them feeling unhappy progressively. Alcohol controls their emotion and feeling and they will finally sink into depression.

Depression and the brain

How Depression affects the brain


princ_rm_pet_scan_of_depressed_brain.jpg

http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-causes-depression

It's frequently said that depression results from a chemical imbalance, yet that figure of speech doesn't catch how complex the disease is. Research proposes that depression doesn't spring from basically having an excess of or too little of certain brain chemicals. Rather, depression has numerous conceivable reasons, including faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, upsetting life occasions, medications, and therapeutic issues. It's accepted that few of these powers collaborate to bring on depression. Researches have adapted much about the biology of depression. They've recognized genes that make people more vulnerable against low moods and impact how an individual reacts to medication treatment. One day, these revelations ought to prompt better; more individualized treatment, yet that is liable to be years away. Keeping in mind researchers know more now than any other time in recent memory about how the brain regulates mood, their comprehension of the biology of depression is a long way from complete.Prominent legend has it that feelings live in the heart. Science, however, tracks the seat of your feelings to the Brain. Certain territories of the mind help regulate mood. Specialists accept that more imperative than levels of specific brain chemicals nerve cell associations, nerve cell growth and the working of nerve circuits have a significant effect on depression. Still, their comprehension of the neurological underpinnings of state of mind is incomplete.

Area's that influence mood


http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-causes-depression

Increasingly sophisticated forms of brain imaging such as positron emission tomography (PET), single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) permit a much closer look at the working brain than was possible in the past. An fMRI scan, for example, can track changes that take place when a region of the brain responds during various tasks. A PET or SPECT scan can map the brain by measuring the distribution and density of neurotransmitter receptors in certain areas.Use of this technology has led to a better understanding of which brain regions regulate mood and how other functions, such as memory, may be affected by depression. Areas that play a significant role in depression are the amygdala, the thalamus, and the hippocampus.Research shows that the hippocampus is smaller in some depressed people. For example, in one fMRI study published in The Journal of Neuroscience, investigators studied 24 women who had a history of depression. On average, the hippocampus was 9% to 13% smaller in depressed women compared with those who were not depressed. The more bouts of depression a woman had, the smaller the hippocampus. Stress, which plays a role in depression, may be a key factor here, since experts believe stress can suppress the production of new neurons (nerve cells) in the hippocampus.

Area's of the brain affected by Depression

neurobiology-and-neural-circuitry-of-depression_52681b276011e.png

Amygdala and Thalamus

http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-causes-depression

The amygdala is part of the limbic system, a group of structures deep in the brain that’s associated with emotions such as anger, pleasure, sorrow, fear, and sexual arousal. The amygdala is actuated when an individual reviews candidly charged memories, for example, a startling circumstance. Action in the amygdala is higher when an individual is dismal or clinically discouraged. This increased activity continues even after recovery from depression. The thalamus receives most sensory information and relays it to the appropriate part of the cerebral cortex, which directs high-level functions such as speech, behavioral reactions, movement, thinking, and learning. Some research suggests that bipolar disorder may result from problems in the thalamus, which helps link sensory input to pleasant and unpleasant feelings.

Hippocampus

http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-causes-depression

The hippocampus is a piece of the limbic framework and has a focal part in preparing long-term memory and collection. Interchange between the hippocampus and the amygdala may represent the maxim "once nibbled, twice shy." It is this piece of the mind that registers dread when you are gone up against by a yelping, forceful puppy, and the memory of such an experience may make you careful about pooches you go over sometime down the road. The hippocampus is littler in some discouraged individuals, and exploration proposes that continuous introduction to stretch hormone hinders the development of nerve cells in this a piece of the cerebrum.

Nerve cell communication

http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-causes-depression

A definitive objective in treating the science of depression is to enhance the mind's capacity to control disposition. We now realize that neurotransmitters are not by any means the only critical piece of the hardware. In any case how about we not lessen their significance either. They are profoundly included in how nerve cells speak with each other. What's more, they are a part of cerebrum capacity that we can regularly impact to great finishes. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that hand-off messages from neuron to neuron. An upper solution has a tendency to expand the convergence of these substances in the spaces between neurons (the neural connections). As a rule, this movement seems to give the framework a sufficient push so that the mind can carry out its occupation better. How the framework functions. In the event that you prepared a high-fueled magnifying instrument on a cut of cerebrum tissue, you may have the capacity to see an approximately twisted system of neurons that send and get messages. While each phone in the body has the ability to send and get signals, neurons are uncommonly intended for this capacity. Every neuron has a cell body containing the structures that any cell needs to flourish.Stretching out from the cell body are short, branchlike fibers called dendrites and one longer, more prominent fiber called the axon.A combination of electrical and chemical signals allows communication within and between neurons. When a neuron becomes activated, it passes an electrical signal from the cell body down the axon to its end (known as the axon terminal), where chemical messengers called neurotransmitters are stored. The signal releases certain neurotransmitters into the space between that neuron and the dendrite of a neighbouring neuron. That space is called a synapse. As the concentration of a neurotransmitter rises in the synapse, neurotransmitter molecules begin to bind with receptors embedded in the membranes of the two neurons. The release of a neurotransmitter from one neuron can activate or inhibit a second neuron. If the signal is activating, or excitatory, the message continues to pass farther along that particular neural pathway. If it is inhibitory, the signal will be suppressed. The neurotransmitter also affects the neuron that released it. Once the first neuron has released a certain amount of the chemical, a feedback mechanism (controlled by that neuron’s receptors) instructs the neuron to stop pumping out the neurotransmitter and start bringing it back into the cell. This process is called reabsorption or reuptake. Enzymes break down the remaining neurotransmitter molecules into smaller particles.

System Falter

http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-causes-depression

Brain cells for the most part deliver levels of neurotransmitters that keep faculties, learning, developments, and temperaments livening along. However in a few individuals who are seriously discouraged or hyper, the complex frameworks that perform this go astray. For instance, receptors may be oversensitive or inhumane to a particular neurotransmitter, bringing about their reaction to its discharge to be over the top or insufficient. Then again a message may be debilitated if the starting cell pumps out too little of a neurotransmitter or if an excessively productive reuptake cleans up excessively before the particles have the opportunity to tie to the receptors on different neurons. Any of these framework shortcomings could altogether influence mind-set.

Memory and Overcoming memory loss

http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-causes-depression

At its worst, depression leaves couple of corners of the human brain unscathed. Numerous individuals experiencing this unending disease lose their cravings, their capacity to rest ordinarily, their sex drive, and the very capacity to appreciate the least difficult delights. Among the more obvious of the setbacks is memory. Researchers are testing the association in the middle of depression and memory-some with expectations of enhancing medications, others to enhance comprehension of the profound associations between brain, disposition, and memory. Utilizing mind-imaging systems, we are actually starting to see some of those associations.Getting treatment for your depression, which may incorporate psychotherapy, solution, or other treatment modalities, is an unquestionable requirement to understand related cognitive issues, for example, memory misfortune and poor focus. There are additionally particular steps you can take to enhance your memory and capacity to focus. Talk with your social insurance supplier to focus the best choices for you. Frequently, a mix of these treatment routines yields the best results.

Tottering the official Cerebrum

http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-causes-depression

Memory is however one of a suite of higher or "official" cerebrum capacities limped by depression. Notwithstanding getting to be distracted, an individual experiencing significant depression may experience difficulty starting undertakings, deciding, arranging future activities, or sorting out considerations. This is thought to follow to trace to imbalances in the chemicals, called neurotransmitters, that empower individual mind cells to "talk" to one another and store new memories.

Placebo and Depression

Placebo

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Placebo Effect. (2012, June). Retrieved from http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Placebo_effect

The name placebo from the well-known placebo effect is a Latin word that means 'I will please', and it is used to describe any medical treatment that is inert or inactive and therefore 'should' have no effect on the body (a pill made of corn starch or a needle injection that does not even pierce through the skin as examples). The placebo effect refers to the phenomena where those treatment methods that are neither helpful nor harmful are used on patients and their bodies actually respond by showing of certain conditions that could be both positive and negative. There have been many cases where patients' symptoms were lessened or at its most completely cured from placebo therapy along with cases where participants suffered from side effects due to placebo therapy as well. Many of those who are skeptical of this notion of placebo may think that the participants are fooling themselves by imagining that they have been healed or have been affected in any way by the therapy when in reality, no change has taken place. However, medical research has proven otherwise. It shows that psychological states play a vital role in the development of a disease. For instance, mental stress is known to increase blood pressure which may develop to chronic hypertension which is a condition that puts people at risk for heart diseases. Just as the mind can contribute to developing a physical disorder, it can also be a key to its cure.

Placebo effect influences

Placebo Effect. (2012, June). Retrieved from http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Placebo_effect

Some factors that influence the placebo effect include the characteristics of the placebo, the person’s attitude, and the relationship between doctor and patient. The particular stance that a patient holds towards the placebo treatment is also a significant factor that determines the outcomes. If the patient thinks positively about the treatment and believe it to work out well, the chances of placebo effect become higher. The attitude can be affected by the physical traits of the certain pill or injected liquid. Physical appearance of a fake pill matters since if it looks similar to real legitimate medicine, it gains more credibility than those that look unusual or unique. Research indicates that larger sized pills suggest a stronger dose and therefore have a quicker and more powerful relief effect. In addition, swallowing two pills appears more compelling than taking only one. Generally, it is known that injections through needles have a stronger effect than pills. The level of trust constructed or established between patients and doctors also play a role in the patients’ viewpoint taken on the placebo treatment.

Media case studies:

Fast Food vs. Depression

Not that I feel sick, I just feel really depressed. You know for no reason. I mean things are going great I've had a good day - Morgan Spurlock, Super Size me.

I felt depressed and exhaused most of the time, my mood swung on a dime and my sex life was non existent- Morgan Spurlock, Super Size Me.

While examining the influence of the fast food industry, Morgan Spurlock personally explores the consequences on his health of a diet of solely McDonald's food for one month.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugazQ49pBts

Placebo Effect

Ted Talk: TEDMED, magician Eric Mead does a trick to prove that, even when you know something's not real, you can still react as powerfully as if it is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb_6PPBJJB8

Ted Kaptchuk on the placebo effect:
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Conclusion

Since depression is a mental illness; a disorder of the mind, the psychological aspect plays a significant role in relief from the illness as well. While many treatments exist for depression, it is difficult to determine which factor accounts for the real cure of depression since we cannot only measure the psychological premises separately from the biological or physiological premises. Many research studies show that there are various potent treatment methods such as use of anti-depressants or different kinds of therapy including cognitive-behaviour therapy, electroshock therapy, and psychoanalytic therapy, or simply even regular physical workout and exercise. It is also proven through various experiments that certain nutrition in foods help alleviate mental stress and improve one's mood. For instance, deficiency of certain vitamins as Cyanocobalamine (B12) and folic acid in one's diet may be a contributing cause of some depression symptoms. Therefore, severity of depression could be eased or weakened by increasing beans, spinach, papayas, and avocado in their diet. Intake of excessive amounts of refined sugar, caffeine, processed food, and alcohol also plays a role in increasing the risks of being diagnosed with depression. Other elements like sleep disturbance or various stressful events or circumstances people face such as a loss of their loved ones also add to the reasons accounted for developing depression. Since depression is not only caused by one specific stimulus, but rather a combination of multiple stimuli varying from hereditary, psychological, incidental, and physiological premises, the treatment also works in multiple ways including both psychological (placebo) and biological aspects. While the enhanced diet containing the right nutrition may be a potent method to cure depression, the placebo effect of the mind cannot be overlooked as well.

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