Depression affects more than 10 percent of the population, but many go undetected due to the stigma attached to the condition. For those who suspect that a near or dear one suffers from this condition, we present some lesser-known facts about it and how you can manage it.
1. Depression Shrinks The Brain
A recent study conducted by scientists at Yale University claims that depression can shrink the sufferer’s brain. This research published in the journal Nature Medicine suggested that when a person lacks a specific protein, called REDD1, the dendrites (structures that connect the neurons together) in the brain shrink.
2. Depression Runs In Families
Research suggests that depression could run in families and sometimes be spread across several generations. Genome wide studies have helped scientists identify various genes which might be important in defining the genetic vulnerability of individuals to develop depression.
3. Depression Is Linked With Inflammation
While a chemical imbalance in the brain is thought to be the primary cause that triggers depression, a new theory called the ‘Immune Cytokine Model of Depression‘ says that depression may not be a disease in itself, but a multifaceted sign of chronic inflammation. For this, scientists administered endotoxin (drug that stimulates inflammation) in healthy individuals and found that this triggered depressive behavior.
4. Some Medications Can Cause Depression
Certain prescription medications can result in depression. Anti-hypertension drugs, contraceptive pills and drugs that cause hormonal imbalance are associated with this problem. These medications can produce symptoms of depression by altering the brain chemicals.
Despite this, depression can be managed by making positive lifestyle improvements.
- Regular exercise keeps depression at bay.
- Yoga is beneficial in calming your mind and assists you in exercising better control over your thoughts.
- Herbs with antidepressant properties like ashwagandha and gotu kola can benefit a person suffering from depression. You can prepare a herbal tea or consume the herbs in supplement form. Both ashwagandha and gotu kola can be bought online.
- Talking to a counselor will allow you to see things in a different light. Getting an expert’s insight will help you see the problem objectively and decrease depression.
While scientific research continues to reveal interesting facts about depression, holistic approaches will aid you in your fight against the condition.
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