Struggling with Depression
You are not alone. More than 17.3 million adults living in the United States experience depression each year.
Conducted research demonstrated that individuals with depression manifest a lesser activity on their left side of the brain. This side of the brain is responsible for generating positive moods and social interactions. When brainwave activity is reduced on the left side of the brain, we withdraw from friends, lose interest in our favorite things, and want to stay in bed all day. The world around us becomes grey.
Depression is not just feeling sad.
Unlike common belief, depression is more than just the “blues” or being “down in the dumps.” From time to time, people experience feelings of sadness, which is normal and healthy. Problems occur when an individual experience longer than usual melancholy, or the sense of loss and hopelessness never goes away.
When these feelings continue, without any help or intervention, problems can occur in every aspect of a person’s life from eating too much or not enough, sleeping at work, calling in sick or withdrawing from relationships, and losing a sense of self.
Many Factors Can Cause Depression
Our body is a highly complex organism. Individuals can develop depression from a combination of factors such as genetics, brain chemistry, lifestyle, environment, personality traits, and high-demanding careers. Stress can exacerbate these factors impacting key functional areas of the brain.
The left, the prefrontal cortex helps us in becoming more engaging and socially interactive. If this side of the prefrontal cortex malfunctions, this would result in mood changes. As the left side of the brain wave activity slows down, we withdraw from friends, family, and favorite hobbies. We lose interest in all the activities we used to enjoy doing. As we retreat, our moods become very negative towards ourselves and others.
When we withdraw our mental energy becomes low, and performing the most basic tasks can feel overwhelming. Often individuals with depression have difficulty sleeping or sleep all day.
Our biology is designed to protect itself from overwhelming life demands and stress. Short and mild depression may be temporary for individuals who have experienced the loss of a job, loved one, or divorce and is not necessarily a long term problem or abnormal. Depression becomes a serious matter when the feeling of sadness extends for weeks and undermines our daily activities, careers, and relationships.