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Depression - 'Chemical Imbalance'? watch

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    I've taken about 9 or 10 antidepressants yet I'm still depressed - if it was a chemical imbalance I'd have thought at least one of them would correct it for me.

    Secondly, it could have been reactive depression but then again, circumstances have changed for me so much over the past few years, yet it persists.

    I guess I'm just an enigma. :emo:
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    (Original post by stardog32)
    Pharmaceutical companies give you this idea that the fundamental cause of depression is a lack of serotonin
    It's not an "idea", and it's not suggested by pharmaceutical companies. It's a supported piece of science; reducing years of research and dedication to an idea made up for money is very offensive and ignorant, especially coming from a patient.

    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.
    First of all, the notion of "wrong" doesn't fit scientific theories. There's no such thing as a correct brain and an incorrect brain. Our perception of these notions is completely down to their relativity to everything else; in this case, certain behaviour e.g. lack of sleep is seen as bad because of its effects on life as opposed to the effects of regular sleep. Proof that these symptoms are predominantly physiological is that the majority of people do experience similar things as people with depression, but don't end up developing the symptoms which are classified under depression.

    Of course that the physiological changes may be due to the information about the environment itself, although it may well be the case that they are due to genetics/epigenetics.

    It takes years and hard work before any medication goes out on sale for the public. If someone literally wanted to get rich, they'd find easier way to do it. I'm confident the people behind the development of medications are primarily passionate about delivering safe and efficient solutions to health problems, and only after that they consider the material benefit of their work.
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    I think people who brand themselves as 'depressed' should place themselves within the context of catastophes like Haiti.
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    It's as likely to be an effect as an cause, if not more so.
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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)
    bipolar disorder otherwise known as manic depression. You have episodes of mania and episodes of very low/depressed mood. So surely, there's an element of depression in those diagnosed with bipolar disorder? This is my understanding anyway. It's a mood disorder afterall.
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    Chemical imbalance is a symptom, not a cause. Depression is not normally an organic disease (caused by biological factors), it is a psychological disease. It is caused by the way the brain thinks, which in turn causes the chemical imbalance, which in turn causes other effects. Treating the chemical imbalance with other chemicals will make you feel better, but will not get rid of the primary psychological cause, it is like treating an ingrowing toenail with painkillers, it gets rid of a symptom, but not the thing that causes the problem in the first place. Pyschologists can treat depression by finding out which are the pathological elements of the patients psyche, and helping them resolve them.
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    (Original post by Reflexive)
    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.
    I think half many mental health issues would go away if people experiencing regular/long-term depression were given free gym memberships!

    Diet's also significant. I myself haven't been eating as much as I should, then the last few days I've consciously attempted to eat more, and my mood has been significantly better. Exercise as this natural anti-depressant, boosting your serotonin etc...it really is the dogs bollox but you've got to make sure you're eating more because of doing more exercise!
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    (Original post by white_haired_wizard)
    I think half many mental health issues would go away if people experiencing regular/long-term depression were given free gym memberships!

    Diet's also significant. I myself haven't been eating as much as I should, then the last few days I've consciously attempted to eat more, and my mood has been significantly better. Exercise as this natural anti-depressant, boosting your serotonin etc...it really is the dogs bollox but you've got to make sure you're eating more because of doing more exercise!
    They do give free gym memberships to some people.


    Oh and exercise didn't work for me either. I'll add that to my list.
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    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    They do give free gym memberships to some people.


    Oh and exercise didn't work for me either. I'll add that to my list.
    Perhaps they, whoever they is, should be doing it more often. Maybe there's an overmedicalization of mental health, well, that's one train of thought. Lack of focus on the importance of diet and exercise and other lifestyle factors...

    That's the thing with exercise, it's probably only a temporary boost in serotonin, a temporary elevation of the happy hormone in the brain, then before you know it, you're back to normal mood levels and compared to the previous elevated mood, you can really feel the difference and feel a bit more crap as a result!! Suppose there's an argument that exercise doesn't really help maintain/provide stable mood levels??
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    (Original post by white_haired_wizard)
    Perhaps they, whoever they is, should be doing it more often. Maybe there's an overmedicalization of mental health, well, that's one train of thought. Lack of focus on the importance of diet and exercise and other lifestyle factors...

    That's the thing with exercise, it's probably only a temporary boost in serotonin, a temporary elevation of the happy hormone in the brain, then before you know it, you're back to normal mood levels and compared to the previous elevated mood, you can really feel the difference and feel a bit more crap as a result!! Suppose there's an argument that exercise doesn't really help maintain/provide stable mood levels??
    Maybe they (they being the nhs; I thought that was clear?) should indeed. Probably cheaper than forking out for a years course of antidepressants, counselling and cbt.
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    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    Maybe they (they being the nhs; I thought that was clear?) should indeed. Probably cheaper than forking out for a years course of antidepressants, counselling and cbt.
    There should be more of a push on NHS provision of free gym memberships, probably. Probably save alot of money in the long-run too, like you say. Also there is strong evidence that exercise is this natural anti-depressant, also raises people's self-esteem, get happier about their physical appearance and sense of worth increases after doing something meaningful and productive with their time etc etc...

    If you're not going to go through the NHS, then yes, definitely more expensive. CBT can be £70 per hour in some places, and more. That's ALOT of money! 3 months of a a gym membership ffs! But hey, different strokes for different folks. Whatever works, works.
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    (Original post by Reflexive)
    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.
    I think we're talking from the same side but at slightly different angles. I'm studing pharmacology at uni, of course I'm going to stick up for our hypotheses and the drugs used to treat the ilness; I'd fail my exams if i didn't. I'll see if the book is in the library.

    They don't need to publish the data, they just remove the drug and stop spending millions on developing it. I assume you know that the vast majority of potential drugs never make it into the pharmacy? And that drug companys waste billions of dollars each year on undesirable drugs? They don't make a habbit of faking results to generate a drug.
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    (Original post by white_haired_wizard)
    bipolar disorder otherwise known as manic depression. You have episodes of mania and episodes of very low/depressed mood. So surely, there's an element of depression in those diagnosed with bipolar disorder? This is my understanding anyway. It's a mood disorder afterall.

    Hm, depression is used to cover a wide variety of problems.

    My bipolarity was very cyclic; it was often triggered by stress, but it could happen without a noticeable trigger.

    People I know with unipolar often find they only hit depression after a stressful event, or the run-up to it.

    I think it just depends on the person.
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    (Original post by stardog32)
    Obviously the mind is a complex thing, no-one knows exactly how depression works
    No one knows exactly how it works but I can assure you that a lot pf people know a lot more than you are giving them credit for. As a PhD student I am all for the expression of oppinions even if they go against well established ideas however those oppinions should be based on knowledge. Yours is blantantly based on a lack of it.
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    As someone who has had depression maybe about 3 times, I'll try to explain. Depression is different from being depressed. Having depression is like...having a cold. When I hear someone saying 'i'm feeling really depressed' I just think, "ok, go for a run, get some endorphins". Depression IS an inbalance in the brain. I believe a lot of people think they are depressed when they are actually not. And the reason why depression has 'increased over time' is simply because it is more understood-no more people have it than 100years ago. Depression in the true meaning of the word is treated by meds and therapy. Some people can indeed get over being depressed with therapy but if they have depression they would need tablets to correct the seratonin levels in their brains.
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    (Original post by Flying Cookie)
    It's not an "idea", and it's not suggested by pharmaceutical companies. It's a supported piece of science; reducing years of research and dedication to an idea made up for money is very offensive and ignorant, especially coming from a patient.
    Look there's no need to get defensive, we're having a discussion here. I'm not a 'patient' either thanks.

    I guess I didn't make myself clear. Drug companies commonly advertise that depression is caused by a 'chemical imbalance'. No-one knows what this imbalance is exactly, it's a way oversimplified concept, and there's no evidence to suggest this causes depression. However it's now become a very widespread idea.

    It takes years and hard work before any medication goes out on sale for the public. If someone literally wanted to get rich, they'd find easier way to do it. I'm confident the people behind the development of medications are primarily passionate about delivering safe and efficient solutions to health problems, and only after that they consider the material benefit of their work.
    Obviously the reason these companies exist is to make money. I have a friend who worked at Eli Lilly for a year, and the marketing that goes into these drugs is unbelievable. Doctors have business trips paid for them if they agree to prescribe a certain drug to their patients. This goes on right here in the UK.

    Antidepressants generally do not have any effect above placebo...I'm surprised this finding is so often ignored.

    >http://www2.hull.ac.uk/news_and_even...pressants.aspx
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    (Original post by Undiscovery)
    I think people who brand themselves as 'depressed' should place themselves within the context of catastophes like Haiti.
    Ignorant people like you anger me. Knowing that other people have it worse than you does not automatically change anything. If anything, it makes you fel worse because you either feel like other people deserve more attention than you, or you think you're making a big deal out of nothing. :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Thatguy1988)
    No one knows exactly how it works but I can assure you that a lot pf people know a lot more than you are giving them credit for. As a PhD student I am all for the expression of oppinions even if they go against well established ideas however those oppinions should be based on knowledge. Yours is blantantly based on a lack of it.
    I'm not here to argue about biology, I'm fairly ignorant on the subject.

    However, we don't know how the mind works, how thoughts and ideas come to fruition, how the conscious and unconscious work together etc. All very important for understanding depression. The most clinically effective treatment for depression is CBT, a psychological treatment which focuses on changing your thoughts. I don't believe depression is a physical brain disorder, imo that's a very determinist point of view and upbringing, environment and other factors have such a huge part to play in how we think.

    By the way it's spelled 'opinion' one p
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    My depression was a result of a 'hormonal,' imbalance. No this does not mean I was PMSing, it can happen to anyone at any age, and was to the extent that I was cutting myself, never going out, not eating, wanting to kill myself etc.. this went on for about a year. Got a hormonal treatment in the form of getting injections of estrogen and some of another type of hormone, and after a few weeks I was back to my normal self + bigger boobs. Depression comes in different forms and result from different things.
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    (Original post by ABeautifulMind)
    Depression comes in different forms and result from different things.
    This is basically it.
    There is research showing everything, because you can swing any study or article either way, but (studying this in psychology and doing some of my own research) you can't say one thing is or isn't a factor, and in every person it's different. Genetics play a part: there's strong links shown in the majority of studies to show this. Chemical imbalance plays a part: again, studies show that levels of neurotransmitters are different in depressed patients, whether this is causing the depression or being caused by it. Environment plays a part: if your life as a child or adult is crap, you're gonna have to be bloody hardy to have "normal" emotions.

    However, none of this changes the fact that drugs do work. Personally, I do think there should be more stress placed on CBT, because its been shown to be more effective in the long term, but the NHS loves drugs because they've been shown to work in the majority of patients, and they're quick and cheap.

    Also, just a note on the bipolar side of things: bipolar is actually quite different, even though one side of it is basically unipolar depression - it has been shown that lithium is incredibly effective where most other things aren't. Traditionally, bipolar is harder to regulate, but drugs work a huge amount of the time (although CBT does increase the likelihood of a bipolar patient actually taking the meds, interestingly.)

    In regards to diagnosis: saying it's not accurate is not untrue, apart from anything if you give a depression "test" to someone with anxiety disorder or sometimes other things they will, according to the test, come out as depressed (although weirdly depression drugs sometimes work on anxiety too.) And although there are so many hoops to jump through, the diagnosis can be tricked, and trying to identify depression in terms of specific categories is hard.
 
 
 
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