Understanding the Brain
Brain Damage Causing Depression & Effects on the Brain
Injury to: Amygdala, Thalmus, and/or Hippocampus
- Physical Injury: Redirected, Increased blood flow in the Amygdala.
- Emotional Response to Injury: Struggling to adjust to temporary or lasting disability
- Inherited Genes: Other factors present prior to injury.
Brain Areas of Concern applicable to Depression
- Amygdala: Part of the Limbic system: Associated with emotions: Anger, Pleasure, Sorrow, Fear, Sexual arousal. Activated when a person recalls emotionally charged memories. Activity in the Amygdala is higher when a person is sad or clinically depressed.
Thalamus: Receives most sensory information and relays it to the appropriate part of the cerebral cortex, directing high-level functions: Speech, Behavioral reactions, Movement, Thinking, Learning.
Hippocampus: Part of the Limbic system: Processes long-term memory and recollection. The part of the brain that registers fear and later memory recall of that experience.
Behavioral Changes & Treatment
- Impulsive Acts/Suicidal tenancies
- Consistent & repeated Unhappy Mood, Loss of Interest, energy, appetite
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Alternating between normal and depressed moods (Unipolar Depression)
- Medications: (affecting the Monoamine transmitters - increases in Nephrine, Dopamine, Serotonin) Antidepressants: SSRI's - Sertraline, Citalopram or SNRI's - Venlafaxine.
- Psychotherapeutic (Counseling): CBT - Cognitive-behavioral Therapy and/or Behavioral Activation Therapy
- ECT - Electroconvulsive Shock Therapy (A procedure prior to SSRI's/SNRI's)
- Other options: Exercise, Acupuncture, Biofeedback
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