DEPRESSION AND THE STRESS RESPONSE
Dr. Robert Sapolsky wrote the book Why Zebras Don't Have Ulcers. Here he is teaching at Stanford University about about normal and major depression from him. He makes complex ideas very easy to understand.
SIGNS of the BIOLOGY OF MAJOR DEPRESSION:
1. Lack of ability to feel pleasure (anhedonia)
2. Decreased appetites
3. Sleep problems
4. Overactive stress response
5. Underactive ability to get things done (psychomotor retardation)
6. Problems with biological clocks - occurs in cycles
PROBLEMS WITH NEUROTRANSMITTERS
1. Low levels of norepinephrine (psychomotor)
2. Low levels of dopamine (anhedonia)
3. Low levels of serotonin (grief, OCD, rumination)
4. Substance P (chronic pain)
PROBLEMS WITH THE BRAIN
1. Limbic system (emotional brain)
2. Cortex (higher brain) makes what a person imagines, remembers, or dreams seem the same as what they are experiencing (anterior cingulate)
PROBLEMS WITH HORMONES
1. Low thyroid - hypothyroid (Hashimoto's, Wilson's)
2. Postpartum depression, menstrual, post-menopausal. Low estrogen ratio to progesterone.
3. Stress hormones. High levels of glucocorticoids.
(A stressful event causes depression.) (Cushing syndrome - depletion of dopamine.)
HOW MANY STRESSORS ENCOUNTERED
1. With more exposure to major stressors, the body may develop problems with glucocorticoid levels.
PAIN OF HEARTBREAK
Science now tells us that taking Tylenol/acetaminophen (be very careful to dose as recommended) can help more than talk therapy because heartbreak and grief occur in the descending pain pathways of the body. This means that because of psychological pain, your brain is responding with electrical signals that your body has been experiencing as physical pain. It literally hurts.
One reason is that the brain is trying to protect you from further injury: Because the pain exists in the descending pain pathway, your brain doesn't know that you're not dealing with a broken rib or a punctured lung. You might think of it as your brain telling you to keep still so nothing bad will happen. The problem is that if you stay still mentally and emotionally, nothing good will happen, either!
Tylenol can cause people to feel the loss less acutely. It somewhat blocks the brain from sending distress signals. So does laughter. So do proteolytic enzymes.
Because hypnotherapy also works to alleviate chronic or acute pain in the descending pain pathways, a few sessions of hypnotherapy can also help you move through grief to a more comfortable state.
Would you imagine that every winner has had losses along the way?
Call | Text to Lorrie: (+1) 310.703.7449
Irvine | Newport Beach
Board Certified Fellow in Clinical Hypnotherapy - NBCFCH
Board Certified in Neurofeedback - BCN #E6289
Board Certified in Heart Rate Variability HRV
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist - MFT #87051
Diplomate American Academy of Traumatic Stress
Doctoral Candidate in Applied Psychophysiology
Limited. Please text or call for availability.
(c) All rights and content reserved by Lorrie R. Fisher and Fisher Behavior, 2010.