5 Newer Theories on the Cause of Depression

Therese J. Borchard

depression-brainI grew up thinking depression was as simple as one little transmitter getting lost somewhere on his way from one neuron to the other, much like I do when I venture further than five miles from home. It’s an easy explanation–a chemical imbalance in the brain–one that pharmaceutical companies have adopted to craft creative commercials like the Zoloft egg not chasing the butterfly.

But depression is so much more complex than that. Here are a few other plausible causes of depression that have surfaced from recent studies:

1. Faulty Brain Wiring

When experts scanned the brains of depressed people, they discovered that the frontal lobes of the brain, the part associated with higher cognitive processes, displayed lower activity levels than those in non-depressed patients. Other brain imagining reveals breakdown in normal patterns of emotional processing that impedes the ability of depressed patients to suppress negative emotional states. High levels of…

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