Fairfield County Hypnosis, LLC


The symptoms of depression are emotional, physical, and psychological and can be experienced individually or simultaneously. In order to understand the dynamics of depression, here are some common facts.

Although researchers are getting closer to understanding depression, no one knows exactly what happens in the brain to cause it. We do know that most major depression involves an imbalance of chemical messengers, or neurotransmitters, and the limbic system, which regulates emotions, appetite, sleep, hormone levels, and behavior. Neurotransmitters are part of a delicately balanced communication network that controls the limbic system. When these chemicals are in balance, you feel good; when the balance is disrupted, you feel depressed. Here are some specific triggers that can disrupt this balance:

Stress. It is normal to feel sad, angry, or depressed during stressful periods that occur because of the death of a loved one, loss of income, or divorce. But chronic stress can develop into depression.

Traumatic events, such as an abusive childhood or an injury may lead to depression.

Genetic factors and personality types. Depression may run in the family. Low self-esteem and lack of confidence are factors that can cause or increase depression.

Specific diseases or major illnesses. Immune system diseases, illnesses, surgery, and physical pain can cause depression.

Medications. Certain medications have side effects that can cause depression; consult with your physician if this is an issue.

Alcohol or drug abuse can cause an imbalance of brain chemistry leading to depression.

Hormonal imbalance. Changes in hormone levels may contribute to depression. A fluctuation or a decrease in hormones during childbirth or menopause can precipitate depression in women. Postpartum depression is fairly common among new mothers; approximately 80 percent of new mothers experience stress-related symptoms of depression.

Chronic patterns of negative thinking. What you think affects your brain chemistry. Constantly focusing on the painful, disappointing parts of life can have a lasting detrimental impact on your brain chemistry and your moods.

While constant negative thinking, such as self-blame or inadequacy, can fuel the fire of depression by adversely affecting the chemical balance in your brain, the converse can be true as well—a chemical imbalance can intensify negative thinking. Finding a way out of this cycle may seem impossible, but changing your pattern of thinking can lead the way.

Once you understand how your thought processes work, you can begin taking steps to change the patterns of negative thinking that cause or intensify depression.

Negative thoughts are myths you have accepted about yourself, your family, or your life as truth, based on information accumulated throughout your lifetime. For nearly every topic or experience, you may have painful memories, judgements about yourself, even labels like “stupid, incompetent, or worthless.”

Chronic negative thinking in your conscious or subconscious mind can become a habitual thought pattern. When these silent, or not so silent, thoughts are triggered, you may first notice an emotion instead of the thought. For example, when Laura arrived at work one morning, she noticed that she was suddenly upset. When she examined her emotions, she realized that she was scheduled to complete a task that she had struggled with in the past. She was dreading the day’s work because she already believed that she would fail. Every time she started to work, she was interrupted by the thought, “I can’t do this. I already know that I am not good at this.” Her perception of the situation not only made her upset, but prevented her from trying to do her work.

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