Friday, November 8, 2013

What is Chemical Depression

At the most basic level, nobody really knows what causes depression. The dominant theory is that it is a result of low levels of certain neurotransmitters (messenger chemicals that carry signals from one nerve cell to the next) in the brain. This is called the 'monoamine theory' of depression — monoamines being the group of chemicals that these neurotransmitters belong to.

 The neurotransmitters thought to be involved are serotonin (which helps regulate emotion, sleep and appetite), noradrenaline (which is linked to arousal and alertness), and dopamine (which is associated with pleasure and reward). People with depression are known to have lower brain levels of these chemicals, and drugs that elevate them can help lift mood.

 So the theory makes sense. But it is not known for sure whether monoamines are the primary cause of depression, or whether other factors are causing both the lowered neurotransmitter levels and the depression.

                                                                                               William Styron

No comments:

Post a Comment