Genes’ Effect On Mood And Depression
Every part of your body, including your brain, is controlled by genes. Genes make proteins that are involved in biological processes. Throughout life, different genes turn on and off, so that in the best case they make the right proteins at the right time. But if the genes get it wrong, they can alter your biology in a way that results in your mood becoming unstable. In a person who is genetically vulnerable to depression, any stress can then push this system off balance.
Mood is affected by dozens of genes, and as our genetic endowments differ, so do our depressions. The hope is that as researchers pinpoint the genes involved in mood disorders and better understand their functions, depression treatment can become more individualized and more successful. Patients would receive the best medication for their type of depression.
Another goal of gene research, of course, is to understand how, exactly, biology makes certain people vulnerable to depression. For example, several genes influence the stress response, leaving us more or less likely to become depressed in response to trouble.
The evidence for other types of depression is more subtle, but it is real. A person who has a first-degree relative who suffered major depression has an increase in risk for the condition of 1.5% to 3% over normal.
Back Up Diagnosis With Validation From Somewhere They Trust
Hell, even Fox News treats depression as a valid mental illness. If the non-believers are more likely to believe a doctor than you, get a doctor look for positive quotes about depression from politicians or parties that they follow and if they look to religious leaders for guidance, cite them.
There’s widespread openness about depression among pastors in the Christian faith, for example, and Islam has positive views on helping depressives.
Mild And Moderate Depression
These are the most common types. More than simply feeling blue, the symptoms of mild depression can interfere with your daily life, robbing you of joy and motivation. Those symptoms become amplified in moderate depression and can lead to a decline in confidence and self-esteem.
Recurrent, mild depression
Dysthymia is a type of chronic low-grade depression. More days than not, you feel mildly or moderately depressed, although you may have brief periods of normal mood.
- The symptoms of dysthymia are not as strong as the symptoms of major depression, but they last a long time .
- Some people also experience major depressive episodes on top of dysthymia, a condition known as double depression.
- If you suffer from dysthymia, you may feel like youve always been depressed. Or you may think that your continuous low mood is just the way you are.
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Untreated Depression Is A Common Cause Of Suicide
The proper diagnosis and treatment of depression is very important in preventing suicides. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 45% of those who commit suicide are suffering from some sort of mental illness. And this includes people with undiagnosed, untreated, or under-treated depression.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
Diet Plays A Role Too
The sugar and alcohol-fueled diets many of us thrive on during the holiday period could also be a culprit. Alcohol is a widely recognized depressant and research has also linked junk food to depression. Unsurprisingly, after a near-month long period of overindulgence, we might not be feeling our best.
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Depression Can Be Treated
Even the most severe cases of depression can be treated. Depression is commonly treated with medication, psychotherapy , or a combination of the two.
Antidepressants are medications commonly used to treat depression. People respond differently to antidepressants, and you may need to try different medicines to find the one that works best. Researchers also are studying and developing other medications for depression, such as brexanolone for postpartum depression, and esketamine. You can learn about recent developments on these and other medications at NIMH’s Science News webpage under the topic Treatments.
There are many different types of psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy. The particular approach a therapist uses depends on the condition being treated and the training and experience of the therapist. Therapists also may combine and adapt elements of different approaches.
Depression affects each individual differently. There is no one-size-fits-all for treatment. It may take some trial and error to find the treatment that works best. You can learn more about the different types of depression treatment, including psychotherapy, medication, and brain stimulation therapies, on the NIMHs webpage about depression. Visit the Food and Drug Administration website for the latest information on warnings, patient medication guides, and newly approved medications.
What to Consider When Looking for a Therapist
I Hate Sundays Why Do I Get So Sad
If the above sounds familiar, then the following might be relatable for you as well.
Sunday morning, you wake up and are jet-set ready to enjoy the last day of your weekend. All seems to be going well in the morning and even up till lunchtime.
However, sometime around then, a sense of dread seems to sink in.
Your mind starts to go into panic mode because you’ve felt this way before. You feel overwhelmed and even a bit physically ill. You find yourself thinking about why the weekend is ending so quickly, and start to get distraught thinking about the work week ahead.
Whatever you do, you can’t seem to bring yourself to enjoy your Sunday. There’s a sense of hopelessness or depression. It’s no use even when you tell yourself:
“Sunday’s are part of the weekend, I should be feeling happier!”
Yet, it doesn’t get any better. Your Sunday eventually spirals out of control and in the following week, this cycle repeats itself.
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Is It Possible To Have Functional Depression
There are many misconceptions about what depression looks like. You might envision someone who is too distraught to get out of bed. Or you may imagine someone who isnt able to work or do activities due to their low mood.
But, in reality, depression takes many forms and can range greatly in severeness. Sometimes, people have whats called functional depression.
What Depression Is Not
Sadness is absolutely a normal human behavior or emotion that we will all feel at some time during our life. Being sad, however, does not mean you have depression. Feeling sad on occasion can simply mean you are normal. For example, feeling sad while grieving the loss of a loved one is a normal emotional response to a tragic life event. Death to those who do not believe in an afterlife has a sense of finality that cannot be replaced.
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Highlight Your Wish To Get Better And How Denying It Isn’t Solving Anything
You will possibly be told you could decide to snap out of it if you wanted to, or weren’t so weak. It’s valuable, in these situations, to have a counter-argument prepared: how you’ve tried to combat it on your own, and couldn’t.
Tell them all the things you wish you could still do â get out of bed, see friends, enjoy what you once loved doing â and the invisible psychological wall standing in your way. Leave it in no doubt that you are trying. Because you are, and you’re very brave.
What You Can Do To Feel Better
When youre depressed, it can feel like theres no light at the end of the tunnel. But there are many things you can do to lift and stabilize your mood. The key is to start with a few small goals and slowly build from there, trying to do a little more each day. Feeling better takes time, but you can get there by making positive choices for yourself.
Reach out to other people. Isolation fuels depression, so reach out to friends and loved ones, even if you feel like being alone or dont want to be a burden to others. The simple act of talking to someone face-to-face about how you feel can be an enormous help. The person you talk to doesnt have to be able to fix you. They just need to be a good listenersomeone wholl listen attentively without being distracted or judging you.
Get moving. When youre depressed, just getting out of bed can seem daunting, let alone exercising. But regular exercise can be as effective as antidepressant medication in countering the symptoms of depression. Take a short walk or put some music on and dance around. Start with small activities and build up from there.
Eat a mood boosting diet. Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, sugar and refined carbs. And increase mood-enhancing nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids.
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Whats The Difference Between Grief And Depression
Given that the primary symptom associated with depression is sadness, it can be easy to think of grief or bereavement as depression. But grief is a natural response to specific experiences, such as the end of a relationship or the death of a loved one. While you might feel regret or remorse, and you might withdraw from usual activities if you are experiencing grief, youre unlikely to feel the overwhelming sense of worthlessness, thoughts of self-harm or suicide, and other symptoms of depression. Another important difference is that in grief, painful feelings usually come in waves and are often mixed with positive memories.
In some cases, however, grief and depression do coexist, or grief can trigger depression, according to experts writing in the journal American Family Physician. Having a mental health professional help you distinguish between them can ensure you get the support you need.
Risk Factors That Can Make You More Vulnerable
Depression most often results from a combination of factors, rather than one single cause. For example, if you went through a divorce, were diagnosed with a serious medical condition, or lost your job, the stress could prompt you to start drinking more, which in turn could cause you to withdraw from family and friends. Those factors combined could then trigger depression.
The following are examples of risk factors that can make you more susceptible:
Loneliness and isolation. Theres a strong relationship between loneliness and depression. Not only can lack of social support heighten your risk, but having depression can cause you to withdraw from others, exacerbating feelings of isolation. Having close friends or family to talk to can help you maintain perspective on your issues and avoid having to deal with problems alone.
. While a network of strong and supportive relationships can be crucial to good mental health, troubled, unhappy, or abusive relationships can have the opposite effect and increase your risk for depression.
Recent stressful life experiences. Major life changes, such as a bereavement, divorce, unemployment, or financial problems can often bring overwhelming levels of stress and increase your risk of developing depression.
Chronic illness or pain. Unmanaged pain or being diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, can trigger feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
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Regions That Affect Mood
Increasingly sophisticated forms of brain imaging such as positron emission tomography , single-photon emission computed tomography , and functional magnetic resonance imaging 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 in the hippocampus.
It Might Due To Recent Changes In Your Life Making You Dread The Work Week
Are you aware of when you started experiencing this Sunday Depression? Perhaps something in your life has changed recently. Since it comes on a Sunday, there’s a high likelihood it might be due to work-related changes including:
You’ve started a new job recently.
Your boss at work has recently changed.
You’re stretched too thin.
You’ve got a new stressful project.
Other areas of your work changing, like a close colleague leaving or a promotion that leaves you with more responsibility.
All the above are factors that can be anxiety-inducing, leading you to feel a deep sense of dread as your weekend comes to a close and you become aware that you’re back in your office environment tomorrow.
There’s no one simple answer to solving all the above, so do get some help and speak to someone who is able to guide you through this anxiety.
In the meantime, read up a bit on some healthy coping strategies for anxiety, like learning to relax and unwind, as well as grounding techniques. Check out some of the self-care tips on this blog too.
If it’s getting worse, consider too if it’s time for a career change.
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Yes Smiling Depression Is Real
So for me, smiling depression is not only real but it is very real and very scary. My advice is to check on your friends and family from time to time. If you see someone sitting in the corner of a room staring into nothingness or holding their head low, go over to them and strike up a conversation. One never knows the impact they could have on someones life.
Do not let this silent killer win.
Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. - James 1:2-3
Todays scripture reading is from James, the brother of Jesus. In his epistle, James starts off a challenge to the Jewish Christians who had been displaced from Israel. Why would God want us to consider trials as joyful? God never promises that our Christian walk will be easy on the contrary, our walk with Christ is going to have trials. Trials build up our endurance, or faith, as we live our lives on this side of eternity.
Most people when quoting this passage stop at verse 3 however the passage continues with a very important point in verse 4.
But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. - James 1:4
The trials we Christians experience in life test our faith. When we continue to trust in God through the various trials, our faith in Him grows. This verse simply means that complete maturity in Christ only comes from perfect faith in God.
Press Play For Advice On Managing Depression
Hosted by Editor-in-Chief and therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast shares how to find the courage to face depression, featuring Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez.
When sadness turns into depression, there are some telltale signs, including:
- Changes in appetite, weight, and sleep patterns
- Feeling anxious, hopeless, or helpless
- Feeling irritable and restless
- Persistent feelings of sadness or an empty mood
- Physical symptoms that dont subside with treatment
- Loss of interested in actives you once enjoyed
- Low energy or feelings of fatigue
- Trouble with concentration, memory, and decision-making
Unfortunately, you can’t just snap yourself out of depression. If you recognize these signs, seek help from a mental health professional.
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Antidepressants Always Cure Depression
Depression is treatable. Among other interventions, your doctor may prescribe antidepressant medications. These drugs alter your brain chemistry. They can help address deep-rooted biological issues that may be contributing to your condition.
But for many people, antidepressants alone arent enough. Your doctor may also recommend psychotherapy or talk therapy. Combining medications with talk therapy is a common treatment strategy.
Depression Is Real What To Say To Convince Doubters
If youve dealt for a long time with clinical depression , you may have heard comments like, Snap out of it, or Youre just feeling sorry for yourself. Depressives are sometimes characterized as lazy, whiny, or self-obsessed. Even in the medical community, depression has at times been viewed as a disease of affluence, affecting mainly those in wealthy societies.
Depression itself doesnt show up in a blood test. It doesnt cause a rash. You cant see it under a microscope. Its thought to have a complex of causes: biological, chemical, environmental, situational. For these reasons, it can feel hard to pin down precisely.
If you sometimes struggle to validate your own or a loved ones depression, here are a few points that can make the discussion more productive:
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