Nearly 7 percent of, or approximately 15.7 million, American adults are affected by depression. Many of us are no longer shocked by that statistic as we may have loved ones who have struggled with depression or had encounters with it ourselves.
However, many of us would be shocked if we understood the extent to which depression can affect us. It can have an effect on our personalities, relationships, careers, hobbies, and even our brains. Much in the same way our good habits can change our brain for the better, the sadness and isolation of depression can change our brains for the worse.
Research has shown that, over time, depression can start to wear down the important grey matter in crucial areas like the prefrontal cortex (the command center of the brain) and the hippocampus (the brain’s emotional and memory center). Activity in these areas is often lower than it should be in people suffering from depression, depending on the type, but scans are showing that these areas are being actually changed by the depression.
Depression is much more than just an extended, deep sadness; it is an extremely complex disease with a set of challenging symptoms that are the result of biological problems in the brain; it can affect anyone, from grandparents to grandchildren.
Instead of going away on its own, depression will often stick around, changing you and, as demonstrated by research, your brain. Many people have tried to explain this feeling; some say they now feel trapped and alone, when they used to be so happy.
But this news is not all bad. Many of us know how it feels, and are working on feeling better. We realize we are not as alone as our changing brains make us feel and depression CAN be treated. However, having seen hundreds of clients with depression at the Access Counseling Center, we know that depression is not a simple disorder with a one-size-fits-all solution.
At Access Counseling, we want to help you identify which type of depression you wrestle with so you can change YOUR brain, and change your journey for the better. Call us today at 704-751-7775 or schedule an appointment through this website.