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    It would be apt to point out the difference between clinical and reactive depression too. Reactive depression is a depressive response to life events or the environment. This is likely to be a cause that is easier treated by therapy, as the links to 'bad thinking' being the cause are far greater.

    Clinical depression on the other hand is seen as entirely 'inappropriate' emotional response that can plague the carrier at any time, this is more strongly tied to the chemical theories that have been floating around here, and therefore more treatable with drugs.

    Ofcourse there will be multiple goings-on the brain for both though, which is why it can be such a mess of a topic when it comes to best method of treatment or diagnosis.
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    you should also be careful not to diagnose yourself with depression. there is a difference between being depressed and feeling sad and moody. If you think you have depression you should go and see a doctor, let them do the diagnosing and never say to them "i think i have X illness", just tell them your symptoms.
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    It would be apt to point out the difference between clinical and reactive depression too. Reactive depression is a depressive response to life events or the environment. This is likely to be a cause that is easier treated by therapy, as the links to 'bad thinking' being the cause are far greater.

    Clinical depression on the other hand is seen as entirely 'inappropriate' emotional response that can plague the carrier at any time, this is more strongly tied to the chemical theories that have been floating around here, and therefore more treatable with drugs.

    Ofcourse there will be multiple goings-on the brain for both though, which is why it can be such a mess of a topic when it comes to best method of treatment or diagnosis.
    I agree with everything you said apart from the bolded, it also doesn’t matter is it’s exogenous or endogenous depression, the pharmacological interventions do not differ between the two.
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    (Original post by Pheonixx)
    They might be born with a chemical imbalance that makes it more likely or very difficult to avoid depression.

    Prolonged sadness isn't natural.
    But we know that certain events preciptate depression, with some event having more effect than others. Also, depression varies according to social class. These facts would tend to support the view that depression is socially caused.

    Prolonged sadness is natural if you have prolonged exposure to a crap life.

    I do admit that people can have disproportional responses to circumstances but even then I think there's a reason why that is, and it's a lot more complicated that saying 'an imbalance of chemicals'.

    Chemical imbalance is something pushed by drug companies to sell pills.
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    it's fuzzy, unproven science
    :indiff: You obvioulsy haven't researched this properly. So please do, if you really care. Your "own thinking" that you speak of is itself influenced by the change in chemicals in the brain.
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    (Original post by Reflexive)
    But we know that certain events preciptate depression, with some event having more effect than others. Also, depression varies according to social class. These facts would tend to support the view that depression is socially caused.

    Prolonged sadness is natural if you have prolonged exposure to a crap life.

    I do admit that people can have disproportional responses to circumstances but even then I think there's a reason why that is, and it's a lot more complicated that saying 'an imbalance of chemicals'.

    Chemical imbalance is something pushed by drug companies to sell pills.
    Depression isn't prolonged sadness though, its much more than that. and a crap life does not always equal depression. I'm of the view that events can trigger depression which would explain the class differences and possible social causes.

    It may be pushed by the drug companies but it doesn't mean the data and evidence is false. I know we don't know everything; chemical balance does have a role we just don't know how significant it is.
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    There has never been a direct link between a "lack of serotonin" and depression. Pharmaceutical companies love perpetuating the theory because of its simplicity and profitability. Unfortunately for them, some governments are forcing them to strip this catchy motto off their adverts due to lack of evidence and misleading the public.

    It would seem as though the dominating logic is now:
    "If you give someone an SSRI, it makes them happy! Therefore depression must be a lack of serotonin!"
    Which is essentially the same logic in "Aspirin relieves headaches. Therefore headaches must be caused by a lack of aspirin!"

    Fantastic if it does genuinely help people as I expect it probably would, but I find it silly when I see this theory being pushed as fact. We don't even know what "chemical balance" is, let alone "chemical imbalance"
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    (Original post by Flying Cookie)
    :indiff: You obvioulsy haven't researched this properly. So please do, if you really care. Your "own thinking" that you speak of is itself influenced by the change in chemicals in the brain.
    Of course I care. Pharmaceutical companies give you this idea that the fundamental cause of depression is a lack of serotonin, my own experiences tell me its caused by other factors primarily, and the chemicals in the brain are a symptom rather than a cause.

    I have been diagnosed with clinical depression. It involved me ticking boxes to say I was not sleeping properly, feel sad most of the time etc. None of which implies there is anything wrong with my brain, it's a loop of anxiety caused by my experiences/thoughts, which only I can get myself out of ultimately, even if it is influenced by certain biological factors.
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    (Original post by Ice_Queen)
    Voila.


    All I know is that my meds work, so there is either a major placebo effect going on, or it is chemical.


    (I have bipolarity, not depression)
    Pahaha I just lost the game.
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    There has never been a direct link between a "lack of serotonin" and depression. Pharmaceutical companies love perpetuating the theory because of its simplicity and profitability.

    It would seem as though the dominating logic is now:
    "If you give someone an SSRI, it makes them happy! Therefore depression must be a lack of serotonin!"
    Which is essentially the same logic in "Aspirin relieves headaches. Therefore headaches must be caused by a lack of aspirin!"

    Fantastic if it does genuinely helps people as I expect it probably would, but I find it silly when I see this theory being pushed as fact.
    No, there is not a direct link but a causal link between the two, hence why I stated it was a theory not a fact. I have never seen anyone push this as a fact, however, it's the best pharmacological explaination that is out there for depression so maybe that is why you may have heard people push it.
    We don't naturally produce Aspirin, but we do naturally produce Serotonin. So we can't say headaches is caused by a lack of something we never had in the first place, that wasn't a good model.
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    (Original post by Robbolo)
    It would be apt to point out the difference between clinical and reactive depression too. Reactive depression is a depressive response to life events or the environment. This is likely to be a cause that is easier treated by therapy, as the links to 'bad thinking' being the cause are far greater.

    Clinical depression on the other hand is seen as entirely 'inappropriate' emotional response that can plague the carrier at any time, this is more strongly tied to the chemical theories that have been floating around here, and therefore more treatable with drugs.

    Ofcourse there will be multiple goings-on the brain for both though, which is why it can be such a mess of a topic when it comes to best method of treatment or diagnosis.
    I assumed we were all talking about clinical depression? That's what is normally meant when people talk about depression.
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    While it's "true" that any emotional state is represented by a certain chemical setup (or "balance" if we like it and "imbalance" if we don't) in the brain, it's pointlessly reductionist, I agree.
    It also is, I propose, a fairly unproductive way to treat, erm, let me just call them mental diseases. Western medicine has the same approach to somatic disease, as well. Drugs to smash a certain measured parameter back into line.

    I read an intersting article yesterday (New Scientist) which was on the same topic as this one here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/ma...pagewanted=all

    Worth a look, to remind ourselves that how we perceive different mental diseases is very much a cultural thing.


    stardog32 - ignore the fact that you have been "diagnosed with depression". I did a questionaire for the same purpose once and found most of the questions to be so ambiguous and basically unanswerable, and impossible to choose an answer when it was so obvious what they would lead to. It basically asks you "ARE YOU DEPRESSED, MATE?" yes [ ], no [ ].

    Do your own analysis of the situation. Ask questions that the doctor never, ever does. How has your lifestyle changed (think of EVERYTHING), between now and a time before you felt depressed. What makes you happier?

    It can do well to begin by realising (and honestly believing, if you believe it) that these funny emotional states our mind is creating are absolute illusions and of no consequence whatsoever.
    You're in control of your own mind, if you want to be. And, by extension, of the entire universe.
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    (Original post by stardog32)
    For me, I see depression as being a product of my own thinking, and environment (and this is the basis of CBT therapy; surely goes against chemical imbalance theory?)
    Feeling that it is your fault and caused by your own thinking is one of the symptoms of depression.

    But basically the brain functions at different levels: biological, social, cognitive etc, and the best treatment is a combination of treatments that work at all of them, i.e antidepressant drugs + CBT + social support.

    In severe depression its often the case that antidepressants have to be used first to get the depression down to a manageable level where CBT can be applied.

    And there is a wealth of research that shows that people with depression have significantly low synaptic levels of serotonin and/or noradrenaline; and that Antidepressants help alleviate this. (Its a bit more complicated than that, it involves the neurotransmitter receptors, but thats the basics of it). Its NOT just a 'myth' made up by pharmaceutical companies...
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    (Original post by Bevers)
    And there is a wealth of research that shows that people with depression have significantly low synaptic levels of serotonin and/or noradrenaline
    Do share.
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    (Original post by stardog32)
    For me, I see depression as being a product of my own thinking, and environment (and this is the basis of CBT therapy; surely goes against chemical imbalance theory?)
    Something like this?

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/atta...1&d=1264162374
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    Before going and getting put on antideppresants, which for most people have some pretty lame side effects even if they do make them feel better, people should sort out their diet and get regular exercise (I don't mean walking 30 minutes a day, I mean 'real' exercise).
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    This is a classic biology vs psychology debate. And its an A2 psychology exam Q all in itself.

    In reductionist terms:

    -Psychology = negative thinking / negative association
    - Biology = chemical imbalance distorts view/ think process - cause or effect?
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    (Original post by stardog32)
    As someone who often gets depressed, I don't get the whole predominant theory of depression...you see it everywhere; it's caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. You need to see a doctor to get help.

    For me, I see depression as being a product of my own thinking, and environment (and this is the basis of CBT therapy; surely goes against chemical imbalance theory?)

    Obviously the mind is a complex thing, no-one knows exactly how depression works..but the chemical imbalance theory just seems like a way of avoiding the real issue, whatever is causing the depression...it's fuzzy, unproven science propagated by big pharma companies to sell more drugs. But why everyone seems to go along with it is a mystery to me :confused:
    It's true that pharmaceutical companies are making business and selling anti-depressives like cookies. I rememeber when I was in Vienna last year, there was a group of people making a protest against pharma companies and saying that anti-depressive drugs are ruining people's life as they have many bad side effects.

    I experienced my self one year ago a period of fatigue and sadness due to lots of stress at work and some disappointments in my private life. I visited 2 doctors and both diagnoses stated depression as the reason. They offered me some anti-depressives but I refused to take any. It took me 6 months to recover. When I went to the doctor again he was kind of surprised that I recovered without any medicine.

    So I would advise any person who has depression to avoid taking medicines as much as possible. I believe that having a good social life and doing some nice activities can help to feel happy and improve the mood better than any pill.
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    (Original post by Pheonixx)
    Depression isn't prolonged sadness though, its much more than that. and a crap life does not always equal depression. I'm of the view that events can trigger depression which would explain the class differences and possible social causes.

    It may be pushed by the drug companies but it doesn't mean the data and evidence is false. I know we don't know everything; chemical balance does have a role we just don't know how significant it is.
    I know a crap life doesn't always trigger it - like I said the causes are multiplex, we just have a simplified model. We know that certain events tend to cause depression, though not always.

    Chemical imbalance is the front end manifestation or result of deeply rooted problems/causes.

    The data are in fact false in many cases. They do not publish trials where there is no improvement for drugs over placebo. The only proven effects that anti-depressants have is as a placebo.

    There is a golden book, called the loss of sadness by Horwtiz. Please, read that book. It uncovers a lot of truths and is riveting reading.
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    (Original post by concubine)
    Before going and getting put on antideppresants, which for most people have some pretty lame side effects even if they do make them feel better, people should sort out their diet and get regular exercise (I don't mean walking 30 minutes a day, I mean 'real' exercise).
    Here here! Diet and exercise are the two best things you can do to combat depression. Nature's own anti-depressant! Oh, and force yourself to do things that you don't feel like.
 
 
 
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