Depression & Eating Disorders
Causes & Links
Causes of Depression
The Limbic System
Those who research clinical depression have been interested in a particular part of the brain called the limbic system. This is the area of the brain that regulates activities such as emotions, physical and sexual drives, and the stress response.There are various structures of the limbic system that are of particular importance. The hypothalamus is a small structure located at the base of the brain. It is responsible for many basic functions such as body temperature, sleep, appetite, sexual drive, stress reaction, and the regulation of other activities. The hypothalamus also controls the function of the pituitary gland which in turn regulates key hormones. Other structures within the limbic system that are associated with emotional reaction are the amygdala and hippocampus. The activities of the limbic are so important and complex that disturbances in any part of it, including how neurotransmitters function could affect your mood and behavior.
Hormones & The Endocrine System
Another area of research in determining the causes of clinical depression is focused on the endocrine system. this system works with the brain to control numerous activities within the body. The endocrine system is made up of small glands within the body, which create hormones and release them into the blood. the hormones that are released into the body by the glands regulate process such as a reaction to stress and sexual development. it has been found that irregularities may be related to some depressive symptoms such as problems such as appetite and sleeping since they do play part in these activities. further clues to the role of the endocrine system has to do with the fact that those who have particular endocrine disorders sometimes develop depression, and some individuals who are depressed develop endocrine problems despite having healthy glands. The endocrine system usually keeps the hormonal levels from becoming excessive through an intricate process of feedback, much like a thermostat in a home. Hormonal levels in the body are constantly monitored. When a specific hormone rises to a particular level the gland stops producing and releasing the hormone. When an individual is depressed this feedback process may not function as it should. Problems with hormone levels may be interviewed with the changes in brain chemistry that are seen in clinical depression. The endocrine system is connected with the varin at the hypothalamus which controls many bodily functions such as sleep, appetite, and sexual drive. The hypothalamus also regulates the pituitary gland that, in turn controls the hormonal secretion of other glands. The hypothalamus uses some of the neurotransmitters that have been associated with depression as it manages the endocrine system. These neurotransmitters , serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine all have a role in the management of hormone function.