Everyone gets sad, especially at the end of Bambi. But if you have a chronic feeling of sadness, then you might be suffering from Clinical Depression. Depression is more than just the feeling of sadness. Depression also affects how you feel, the way in which you think, and the way you behave. It’s a very serious condition that requires a long-term treatment plan similar to any other mental or physical condition.

Depression symptoms can manifest mentally and also physically.  When a person suffers from depression that can be feeling sad or unhappy for long periods of time, mood swings, extreme frustration over mundane matters, lost of interest or pleasure in previous interests, no libido or sex drive, insomnia followed by excessive sleeping throughout the day, decreased appetite followed by weight loss or in some cases increased appetite with weight gain, anxiety, agitation, restlessness, lethargy, indecisiveness, distractibility, inability to focus or concentrate, tiredness, weakness, muscle fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, feeling of extreme guilt, thoughts of death, dying or suicide, back aches and headaches.

There are many different causes of depression from live events to early childhood trauma. But from a biological and neurological standpoint, the cause of depression comes from an abnormality in the structure of the brain found in people who are depressed.  The hippocampus is a part of the brain that stores memories. After extensive research, people who have a history of depression have a smaller hippocampus than people who have never been depressed before.

A small hippocampus means that there are less serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a very important neurotransmitter than carries messages between the nerves in the brain to the nerves in the body. With less serotonin, less messages can be sent throughout the body potentially causing aforementioned symptoms.

Also, some neurologist theorize that people who suffer from depression have an excess amount of Cortisol or stress hormone in their body and perhaps the Cortisol can impact the hippocampus.

There are many different ways to combat depression. There are holistic ways to help with stress such as exercise. It’s also wise seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist and start some therapy to discuss your emotional issues. But most neurologists recommend taking an antidepressant to help with the chemical imbalance in the brain. Common antidepressants include Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which help with serotonin bind more efficiently with nerve cells or Serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), which increase serotonin production.