Escaping the Clutches of Depression


Feeling sad, losing joy and hope, succumbing to anxiety, moodiness, and social seclusion are painful human emotions that indicate a possible diagnosis of depression. The positive aspect, however, is that treatments are available for this condition, which was not the case fifty years ago.

What are the Causes of Depression?

A theory of inconclusive evidence indicates that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain; however, there are several potential causes, including biological and environmental factors, such as:

  • The patient's family history, as chances of becoming clinically depressed increase when there is a precedent in the family of depression or any other psychological condition.
  • An early shock or trauma during childhood, which might affect how a person deals with situations of fear or stress.
  • The brain's synthesis, as a connection was found between depression and decreased activity of the frontal lobe.
  • Some chronic medical conditions, as the chances of getting clinically depressed increase in their presence, same as chronic pain.
  • Narcotic and alcohol consumption.

What are the Symptoms of Depression?

They include some changes, such as:

  • Mood swings;
  • Hopelessness and sadness;
  • Losing joy and interest in favorite activities, feeling tired quickly, and social seclusion;
  • Lack of focus and difficulty completing tasks;
  • Sleeping disorders and anxiety;
  • Some physical symptoms, such as: headache, indigestion, appetite changes, and fatigue;
  • Slow thinking and movement.

Depression Treatment in the Past

In the nineteenth century, before antidepressants were discovered, depressed patients were sent to quiet places or mental institutions. In 1940, electrical shock treatment began by passing a small electrical current through the brain to modify its chemistry; thus, reversing the symptoms quickly. An anti-allergic drug was also used as a psychological treatment because of its sedative side-effect. In 1951, the drug Imipramine was discovered; it improves the mood and anxiety, leading to the discovery of the other tricyclic antidepressents: Amitriptyline, Nortriptyline, and Desipramine, which improve the mood by affecting the brain's chemistry from neurotransmitters.

Modern Treatment of Depression

In 1987, automatic serotonin reuptake inhibitors were introduced to the market; they are safer and work by increasing the serotonin available in the brain. Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter, sending neuro-signals through neuro-cells; its decrease leads to symptoms of depression and anxiety. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors prevent it from being reabsorbed; thus, it increases in the blood and improves the symptoms of depression, and they have become more widely used. The doctor prescribes these medications after the necessary medical checks and symptoms assessments are conducted. There are other treatments, such as:

  • Psychiatric treatment by talking with the doctor to acquire skills that enable the patients to deal with their emotions and feelings.
  • Physical training for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, helps with the secretion of endorphines, which help improve the mood.
  • Self-care, physical exercising, eating healthy, sleeping sufficiently, avoiding negative people, and engagement in cheerful activities, are all factors that help improve the mood of the depressed patient.

Supplements and vitamins that help with cases of depression

  • Fatty acids (Omega 3) are important for the brain and nerves; they help reduce depression symptoms.
  • Vitamins B12 and B6 are essential for mental health; the risk of becoming clinically depressed increases when these vitamins are not sufficient in the body.
  • Vitamin D is important for the health of bones, brain, and heart; less than normal levels of vitamin D were noticed in depressed patients.

Future Treatment of Depression

Nanotechnology helps in diagnosing and treating depression by fixing damaged cells in the brain and nerves, as well as stimulating areas of the brain that help treat depression and anxiety. Nanotechnology helps control the characteristics of some treatment substances; such as melting and residing in the body. They also transfer the effective substance to sick cells accurately, with the ability to continuously control the secretion of the treatment substance inside the body.


Pattern photo created by wirestock -

About Us

SCIplanet is a bilingual edutainment science magazine published by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Planetarium Science Center and developed by the Cultural Outreach Publications Unit ...
Continue reading

Contact Us

P.O. Box 138, Chatby 21526, Alexandria, EGYPT
Tel.: +(203) 4839999
Ext.: 1737–1781

Become a member

© 2024 | Bibliotheca Alexandrina