What are the causes of anxiety and depression?

Depression can be cause by malnutrition, heredity, hormones, seasons, stress, illness, neurotransmitter malfunction. Neutron transmitter defficieny or malfunction is c ommonly associated with depression. Serotonin levels are usually low in persons with depression. Serotonin is the brain chemical which makes us feel happy that is why it is called the “feel good” neurotransmitter. Studies also suggest that anxious and depressed individuals have over excited nerve cells or nerve cells that fires too much.  Over excited nerve cells result from low GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid) activity. The low levels of neurotransmitter could be attributed to malnutrition, disease and genetics.

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In malnutrition, the body is not receiving enough vitamins,  minerals and amino acids to support brain function. Vitamin-B is very important in the normal function of the brain and the nervous system.

Heredity significantly plays a role in depression. Your DNA predetermines your susceptibility for this disease. If you have a close relative that has a history of depression, then it is also likely that you or a close relative of yours could have depression.

Hormonal imbalance is another cause of depression. In females, hormonal balance is the ratio of progesterone and estrogen. High levels of estrogen or low levels of progesterone is linked to depression.

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References:

1. http://www.virginiahopkinstestkits.com/depresshor.html
2. http://wikipedia.ws/wikipedia/cl/3. Clinical_depression.html#Signs_and_symptoms
4. National Institute of Mental Health Retrieved September 3, 2008.
5.  Rosen JB, Schulkin J (1998). “From normal fear to pathological 6. anxiety”. Psychol Rev 105 (2): 325–50. PMID 9577241.
6. Zald, D.H.; Pardo, J.V. (1997). “Emotion, olfaction, and the human amygdala: amygdala activation during aversive olfactory stimulation”. Proc Nat’l Acad Sci (USA) 94 (8): 4119–24. doi:10.1073/pnas.94.8.4119. PMID 9108115.
7. Zald, D.H.; Hagen, M.C. & Pardo, J.V. (2002). “Neural correlates of tasting concentrated quinine and sugar solutions”. J. Neurophysiol 87 (2): 1068–75. PMID 11826070.

 

 

Last update:  January 16, 2009

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