Biological Factors that Leads to Episodes of Depression

Biological Factors that Leads to Episodes of Depression

Though people usually feel blue and lonely sometimes, unshakable sadness and loss of interest in almost all activities can be signs of depression.

Depression is a form of mental illness that can totally decapitate an individual from performing well in his or her society on a regular basis. The feeling of despair and worthlessness can lead a person to end his or her life. This mental condition is extremely dangerous, thus patients need constant supervision to stop them from thinking suicidal things.

A Survey says that most people view depression as a sign of personal weakness, but the thing about this is, it is really an illness that needs the professional’s help to be treated. National Institute of Mental Health says that, United States is losing billions of dollars every year because of lost work time caused by depression. This is because the prevalence of this mental condition among Americans is very high, about 8% of adults in America suffer from serious depression at some point of their lives. Their estimation even rose up to 17% high, as many individuals are left undiagnosed.

Depression chooses no one to attack; it knows no race, sex, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. However, many studies shows that this mental condition appears neatly 3 times more in women than in men. Some factors that lead to these findings are quite obvious such as hormonal fluctuations, and other things that cause stress like meeting society’s expectations.

This mental problem shows up in any part of the world, but patterns of symptoms may differ from person to person. Also, the prevalence of this condition varies from country to country. In Lebanon for example, about 19% of their people experience serious depression. Taiwan on the other hand, has a very low case of this condition, as they only have about 1.5% of recorded cases. Although, some professionals believe that, the ways of gathering data accounts differs from place to place.

There are also many studies that show a fast increase of cases of this condition all over the world in the past couple of decades. Plus, the patients of this mental illness are getting younger and younger each year.

This mental condition also runs in the family, as genes play a very big part in one’s physical and mental condition. Genes cause serious depression by making abnormal brain activities. Neurotransmitters which are known as brain chemicals that regulates mood and emotions control most of our state of mind. A research once said that a low level of these neurotransmitters of the brain, can lead anyone to extreme sadness. Later studies show a more complex relationship of the mental illness and these brain chemicals.

Hormonal changes also play a big part in one’s emotion and mood. A high level of hydrocortisone (a form of cortisol, a steroid hormone secreted by the body’s adrenal cortex associated in metabolism of carbohydrate and stress reaction) can lead to episodes of depression. Also, under active and overactive thyroid gland contributes greatly to such mental condition.

Some medical conditions can also lead to depression, like deficiencies in dietary vitamins such as folic acid and vitamin B6 and B12. Certain viral infections such as hepatitis and mononucleosis and progressive neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease are the leading biological cause of depression.

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