Is Depression A Physical Illness? The Link Between Depressive Symptoms and Brain Changes

Friday, April 18, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Depression


According to Dr. Peter Kramer in Against Depression, depression is the "most devastating disease known to humankind”1 (pg 150). It alters both psychological functioning—in the form of emotional issues— as well as physical abilities—in the form of pain, lethargy or other connected ailments. Depression strikes early, often triggered by stress or trauma which leads to “kindling”, as discussed in detail in the last post. 

Understanding where depression comes from, as well as what is happening inside your brain, may help you determine the best way to attack it. The good news is that there are a number of treatment options available. The bad news is that most who have one episode will have another, and each episode tends to be worse than the one before it, particularly in those who forgo therapy.

But why would this be?...  continue reading

What Is Depression? Examining the Link Between The Physical and The Emotional

Monday, April 14, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Depression

”He told me it's all in my head." She wept silently, eyes down. "Maybe he's right."

Her state was familiar, one I had seen many times before.  

But “he” wasn't right. 

Depression is a highly physical condition, a state of the brain and body informed by genetics, gestational environment, early learning and later relationships, all of which lead to specific changes within the brain and the body itself through a complex interaction of chemicals. 

Depression is not a simple mind over matter issue. Those who suffer don't have the ability to just wake up one day and make it go away....  continue reading