Depression & Eating Disorders

Causes & Links


Causes of Depression

The brain is the “command center” of the human body. It controls the basic functions of our bodies, our movements, and our thoughts and emotions. Researchers studying clinical depression tend to look at several aspects of brain function including the structures of the limbic system and the function and neurotransmitters within neurons

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.

How it is described by those who have it

One may describe depression as a feeling of drowning just inches below the surface of the water, or just a large feeling of loneliness, darkness, or fear that overtakes you. Truly everyone who catches it has different levels of difficulty though not one is less important than the other. One described it such as "I feel tired, like all I need to do is sleep. I don't feel hungry at all, and I feel as if my brain shuts down completly. When I try to sleep, I lay down but then tears rush down my face and I can't help it. I feel not sad, but not happy. I feel numb. I really feel nothing, just blackness. Like I'm stuck in a room thats pitch black. Like, cheesy but true, I'm in a room full of people and all I'm doing is screaming, but no one hears me. "

Eating Disorders

Causes of Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders can arise from a combination of long-standing behavioral, biological, emotional, psychological, interpersonal, and social factors. Emotionally & physically damaging conditions. Some causes are physiological things such as a low self esteem, feelings of inadequacy or lack of control in life, depression, anxiety, anger, stress, or loneliness. Reasons can also be interpersonal such troubled personal relationships, difficulty expressing emotions and feelings, history of being teased or ridiculed based on size or weight, history of sexual abuse Causes can also be Social. Cultural pressures that glorify “thinness” or muscularity and place value on obtaining the “perfect body” or narrow definitions of beauty. cultural norms that value people on the basis of physical appearance and not inner qualities and strengths. As well as stress related to racial, ethnic, size/weight-related or other forms of discrimination or prejudice. Another one could be Biological reasons but that is still being researched, though they often run in families, current research states that there are significant genetic contributions to eating disorders.

The Link Between the Two

How They Link

Depression and Eating disorders are linked in a way such as depression being a possible cause of eating disorders. They are also very serious conditions of emotional instability, which i'm sure after hearing all of the science behind it may still sound like a bunch of lies or made up garbage. But these are serious things, and they are not being treated like a joke.