When you break a leg, you go to the ER, have the bone reset and wear a plaster. For a while, you walk around with the aid of crutches. If only it were that simple when the brain overloads and breaks down. Unfortunately, there is no reset for the brain, during the 10 years I battled with depression I often wished that there was.
The truth of the matter is a bit more complicated. A healthy brain needs transmitter chemicals – serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine and the hormone melatonin – to circulate through the limbic system, which in turn regulates, among others, mood. A depressed brain stops producing these transmitter chemicals and let’s face it, when that happens all hell breaks loose. This is where the pills come into play. They are your crutches that help you carry on, but first you need to see a doctor. No doctor, no pills!
Now speaking from experience, if you’re depressed you need those pills. The first time around, I resisted the pill option with every fibre of my being, and then came the second time around. See what I’m getting at, and the second time was so much worse than the first. Hell is not a nice place to visit let alone take up residency, and that is what it feels like when you’re depressed.
So the second time, I went to see my doctor, and he explained to me that my brain was like a sink. When all is well that sink has a plug, but while suffering from depression the plug is pulled from the sink and all those useful transmitter chemicals are just doing down the proverbial drain. The only way to find the plug and fill up that sink is through antidepressant.
In this department, science has come a long way. Today not all antidepressant have horrible side effects and a long list of contra indications. There are many different kinds of antidepressants, and it’s a case of finding the right ones that work for you. My advice here, once again from experience, is give them time to take effect. That bloody sink won’t fill up overnight!
- Depression stems from miscommunication between brain cells (sciencedaily.com)
- Social stress and the inflamed brain (medicalxpress.com)
- Cerebral pacemaker cures depression (vr-zone.com)