Body and Mind: Mind Body RelationshipTweet
Lets us look at some of the mechanisms of the body and mind and try to figure out- how they affect the depressive disorders. These mechanisms are broadly covered under following sub sections:
This seems the obvious place to start in view of the fact that women become depressed more often than men, and most women know that they tend to feel just before a period. Some diseases where there is known to be a problem with correct hormone control such as thyroid disorders, also tend to feature symptoms of depression. Thus it seems that incorrectly balanced hormone function is related to depression, but whether it can actually cause the depression is another matter.
These are the chemicals that help to send the message to and from the brain. What happens is that electrical impulse carrying the messages are passed through the body along the nerves. The impulse has to jump a gap between nerve cells to carry on. When it reaches the gap neurotransmitters are released. If wrong Neurotransmitters are produced the body works inefficiently in some way and illness results. Many of the anti-depressants that are used are made up of a substances designed to correct these imbalances that exits.
There is a great debate as to whether, in disorders such as depression, it is the brain telling you to be sad that causes depression, or whether something in your body tells your brain that it must feel sad.
- CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS:
These are cycles by which we live day in day out: getting up, eating, working, then going to sleep again. It is thought that light and darkness may play a part in keeping the rhythm going.
Some researchers argue that the key to the causes of depression lies in the disruption of circadian rhythm. They say that defect in the neurotransmitters cannot account for all the symptoms, although a defect of the body clock can. Moreover, anti-depressant drugs do, in fact, work on circadian rhythms to lift depressive symptoms.
- BRAIN WAVES:
As we know, our brain has two sides, known as hemispheres. In most people, the left hemisphere is regarded as the dominant one. This side of the brain is responsible for the logical thoughts, for mental calculations, for putting things in order. This is also the side through which we think in terms of words. The right hemisphere, regarded as the non-dominant one in most people, is the side that deals with images, creativity and the more artistic side of life.
Several studies have found that the people with high level of activity in the front regions of the left hemisphere have a more cheerful and positive outlook. There is much evidence to suggest that people who suffer from Bipolar Depression - are often also very creative.
It appears to be best to have equal amounts of activity in each hemisphere, known as brain symmetry. It is not only more activity than normal in the right side that make someone liable to become depressed but also less activity than normal in the left side, thus making the two sides unbalanced.
- IMMUNE SYSTEM:
It has been found that in depression, the body's immune system does not function as well as usual. It can be affected by hypnosis, by meditation and by ones outlook on life.
In short, it is thought that if we adopt a positive approach to life and look on the bright side, we will help our immune system to cope and will be less likely to fall prey to all kind of infections.