There is no doubt that depression is a serious mental illness that sometimes requires months and years of treatment on the road to a cure. Hippocrates referred to depression as melancholy, which literally means black bile. Black bile, along with blood, phlegm, and yellow bile were the four humors (fluids) that described the basic theory of medical physiology of the time. Depression, also known as clinical depression, has been portrayed in the literature and the arts for hundreds of years, but what do we mean today when we refer to a depressive disorder? In the 19th century, depression was seen as a hereditary weakness of temperament. In the first half of the 20th century, Freud related the development of depression to guilt and conflict. John Cheever, the author and a modern patient of depressive disorder, wrote about conflicts and experiences with his parents that influence his development of depression.

Every year millions of people realize that they suffer from depression. To make matters worse, it is estimated that only a third of those with the disease will seek treatment. Because depression is considered a mental condition, many victims avoid seeking help from a doctor. Instead of being considered mentally ill, people try to manage the problem on their own. Depression is more common than you think and will not go away on its own.

Depression does not have a single cause; often it results from a combination of things. You may have no idea why the depression hit you.

Whatever its cause, depression is not just a state of mind. It is related to physical changes in the brain and is related to an imbalance of a type of chemical that carries signals in the brain and nerves. These chemicals are called neurotransmitters.

Some of the most common factors involved in depression are:

* Family history. Genetics plays an important role in depression. It can run in families for generations.

* Trauma and stress. Things like financial problems, the breakup of a relationship, or the death of a loved one can lead to depression. You can get depressed after changes in your life, like starting a new job, graduating from school, or getting married.

* Pessimistic personality. People who have low self-esteem and a negative outlook have a higher risk of becoming depressed. These traits can actually be caused by low-level depression (called dysthymia).

* Physicals conditions. Serious medical conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and HIV can contribute to depression, in part due to physical weakness and stress. Depression can worsen medical conditions, as it weakens the immune system and can make pain more difficult to bear. In some cases, depression can be caused by medications used to treat medical conditions.

* Other psychological disorders. Anxiety disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and (especially) substance abuse often appear along with depression.

Why do people have depression? The answer can be very complicated because you have to take into account many factors. The list is quite long. Let's list some of the factors that contribute to depression. A chemical imbalance is widely considered to be the main cause of depression. Why does this chemical problem occur in the brain? The causes are usually derived from biological, genetic, physical, mental, and environmental implications. In many cases, the underlying cause is never identified. Depression often follows the diagnosis of other medical conditions, particularly those that result in imminent death or are chronic. For more visit here

Scientists don't know why the hippocampus is smaller in people with depression. Some researchers have discovered that the stress hormone cortisol is overproduced in depressed people. These researchers believe that cortisol has a toxic or poisonous effect on the hippocampus. Some experts theorize that depressed people are simply born with a smaller hippocampus and therefore tend to suffer from depression.

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Scientists don't know why the hippocampus is smaller in people with depression.