How Depression Changes The Brain

Depression, or major depressive disorder, is a common but serious mental illness that affects 350 million people across the world of every age and socio-economic status, adversely impacting the way a person feels and functions. Depression symptoms range from mild to severe and can vary greatly in each individual. Some signs of depression include:

  • Feelings of sadness
  • Irritability
  • Significant appetite changes
  • High fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Changes in sleeping patterns

In some cases, depression can lead to thoughts of suicide or death, making it imperative for a person struggling with this disorder to seek treatment immediately. Unfortunately, the negative social stigma associated with this condition prohibits millions of people on a global scale from getting the medical care needed to combat their depression. As a result, many endure their symptoms silently or fail even to acknowledge that are depressed.

Negative Social Stigma Stops Many From Treating Depression

Refusing care can have long-term, future consequences that extend far beyond disruption in daily activities and responsibilities. New research from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) suggests that, when left untreated, chronic depression can actually alter a person’s brain. According to the CAMH’s data, brain imaging conducted on people with bouts of untreated depression that lasted longer than a decade demonstrated a significantly higher occurrence of inflammation than those who had fewer than ten years of untreated depression. CAMH’s research is the first tangible biological indication of significant modifications in the brain due directly from prolonged major depressive disorder.

Additionally, a global study recently revealed that extended stretches of untreated depression might also cause shrinkage in the brain’s hippocampus, the area responsible for emotions and memories. Both studies are changing how scientists and medical professionals are viewing this disorder. Rather than treating depression as a static condition, practitioners may begin to address the disorder as a progressive illness, much like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

Tips To Reverse The Symptoms Of Depression

Reversing the symptoms of depression is possible. A first critical step in managing the disorder is to seek professional medical attention. Your chiropractic neurologist may suggest a multitude of treatment options beyond traditional prescription medications including:

  • Consistent exercise
  • Healthy diet
  • Meditation
  • Practicing mindfulness

Consistent chiropractic care can also help minimize depression. Misalignments in the body can cause neurological and chemical imbalances. A neurological chiropractor can impact the nervous system, regulate brain chemistry, and ultimately help restore balance to potentially relieve symptoms and improve overall quality of life.

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