Anyone can feel sad, moody or low at times, but some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years) and sometimes without any apparent reason. Depression is more than just a low mood – it’s a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health.
Biochemical imbalances can contribute to Depression. Research suggests that depression doesn’t spring from simply having too much or too little of certain brain chemicals. There are many possible causes of depression, including faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, stressful life events, medications, and medical problems. It’s believed that several of these forces may compound to trigger depression.
When we talk about anxiety, your life experiences, emotions, and stress can actually change your neurotransmitters, just as neurotransmitters can affect your mood and anxiety. Anxiety is a psychological, physiological, and behavioural state induced by a threat to well-being or survival, either actual or potential. It is characterized by increased arousal, expectancy, autonomic and neuroendocrine activation, and specific behaviour patterns.
The biochemistry of anxiety is complex and vast and nearly every type of neurotransmitter and hormone can play some role in anxiety, as can anything that reduces blood flow to the brain (like dehydration). Anxiety, in many ways, is simply your body’s reaction to brain stress.
Chemicals are involved in conditions such as anxiety and depression, but it is not a simple matter of one chemical being too low and another too high. Rather, many chemicals are involved, working both inside and outside nerve cells. There are millions, even billions, of chemical reactions that make up the dynamic system that is responsible for your mood, perceptions, and how you experience life.
With this level of complexity, you can see how two people might have similar symptoms of depression or anxiety, but the problem on the inside, and therefore what treatments will work best, may be entirely different.
Researchers have learned much about the biology of conditions such as anxiety and depression. They’ve identified genes that make individuals more vulnerable to low moods and influence how an individual responds to drug therapy. Ongoing research into these discoveries will lead to better, more individualized treatment options. And while researchers know more now than ever before about how the brain regulates mood, their understanding of the biology of depression is far from complete.
Bio Balance Health trains medical doctors to identify the biochemical changes associated with depression and anxiety symptoms through testing the patient’s biochemistry and biomarkers of oxidative stress. Individualised therapy can be used in conjunction with current mental health options to improve outcomes for patients.