What causes depression?

March, 2015

Elevated cortisol levels caused by stress and distress, cause destruction of the neurons in the hippocampus – the emotional centre of the brain – which causes the low mood or hopelessness, as there are a lack of neural connections to process emotions.

Anti-depressants can, over time, hold off the effect of cortisol and the net effect is that gradually neurons are generated in this part of the brain and the individual is able to recover. Therapies that  focus on reducing levels of stress and distress, and focus on the moment, can also help to promote recovery, by helping the individual to de-stress their lives. One approach is to help clients understand how they can interupt the downward spiral of:
negative or unhelpful thoughts ->bad feelings ->depressive symptoms & behaviour