Depression And Its Effects On An Individual 's Life Essay

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Depression is a mental illness that can have profound impacts on an individual’s life. Unfortunately though, our understanding of this disorder is limited. Contributing to this is the fact that for several decades, there was only one theory on depression, which was the monoamine theory. This theory rationalized that depression was due to an absolute or relative deficiency of monoamines and that antidepressants work by correcting this deficiency (Willner, Scheel-Krüger, & Belzung, 2013). Only within the last decade or two have there been new proposals on the causes of depression. These new proposals have helped to increase our understanding of this disorder as well as highlight flaws in the original theory. Among these is the neurogenesis theory of depression.
This theory was established by BL Jacobs, H van Praag, and FH Gage (2000) through a review of work that had been performed in the 1990s. Upon evaluation of the previous literature, they found that drugs that increase serotonin such as d,l-fenfluramine also stimulate hippocampal neurogenesis. Due to this, they theorized that the birth of new neurons in the hippocampus was an important factor in the treatment of depression. This was an important revelation. Before their work, depression was thought to be cured solely by increasing the level of deficient neurotransmitters as evidenced by the monoamine theory. Although this had some efficacy in treating depression it did not explain why antidepressant drugs took a while
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