Like many other illnesses depression can be analyzed on a spectrum. Some have extreme depression, some have mild depression, and some have only slight depression. However no matter where you fall on this spectrum more insight into the illness can help and that’s what we want to do.We will approach this topic by examining how depression is treated, how the brain works, and how therapy can help and why.
Lets get started. Antidepressants are usually the first-line of treatment for depression (A. Emily, 2014). A lot of people suffer from depression and without examining people in further detail a proper analysis cannot be made. Yet drugs are easily prescribed that can have detrimental effects. We think a little information about how the drugs work and change your body is mandatory. Prescribing drugs most of the time is far to easy. Unfortunately the human interest seems to be lost at times. So it is up to the individual person to educate themselves.
Generally how does the brain work?
So how does depression and the brain work? No one knows for sure, but one of the leading theories examines the relationship between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex.
The amygdala is associated with emotional responses (A. Emily, 2014). The prefrontal cortex is associated with executive functioning or higher lever thinking (A. Emily, 2014). These two areas of the brain are significant for depression sufferers. Moreover depressed individuals have more activity in these areas of the brain (A. Emily, 2014). Studies show that antidepressant drugs inhibit hyperactivity in the amygdala, whereas cognitive behavioral therapy inhibits hyperactivity in the prefrontal cortex (A. Emily, 2014).
In other words, without the combination of both antidepressant drugs and therapy hyperactivity in the brain is going to exist for most. The key for depressed individuals is to balance the activity between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex
Why Balance these two areas
So why does it matter if those two areas of the brain are hyperactive? Answer two reasons: first, is to avoid letting emotions overrun your behavior and the second reason is to avoid becoming an emotionless thinker. For those two reasons alone, it is critical for there to be a balance between emotion and thinking. On the bright side Antidepressants may help calm/inhibit your emotions. Yet on the downside your emotions can be inhibited so much that you become an emotionless thinker. Emotionless thinking can significantly hinder your relationships. People may find it hard to relate to you. In turn this may cause you to be more depressed.
How to balance?
So how do I balance these two areas of the brain? Time and effort. Unfortunately there are no easy fixes to this illness. The key to coping with depression is to handle it in stages. The first stage is understanding the basics of how the brain works. This information will give you some idea of what is occurring biologically. The second stage involves you being able to recognize your thoughts in a real life situation. The third stage requires you to not only recognize your thoughts but to analyze them too. The final stage requires you to act/behave after you have recognized and analyzed your thoughts. Now this simple process will not solve all the problems associated with depression, but it can help. These stages require you to activate the amygdala and prefrontal cortex (stop, think, and analyze). With time and effort, these two areas of the brain can balance each other out. Antidepressants, therapy, or both may be needed to assist you. Others maybe able to handle depression by following this process and self discipline.