Before going into class on Wednesday, although many people had expressed how much they had enjoyed the paper from Nestler and Carlezon, I had not really enjoyed it that much. I think this is because of how uneasy it made me feel about how much we don’t know about depression. I feel like we’ve been pretending that we know a lot about this disorder, and even though we do know a significant amount about it, we also don’t know a significant amount about it. There are so many other areas of the brain and neurotransmitters and neural pathways that are linked to this disorder, and I guess I just found it all frustrating before we discussed things in class. However, I now appreciate the article giving light to this issue, as hopefully it will help us to better determine the causes for depression, and to develop better cures/antidepressants that have less side effects and lead us to new therapeutic ideas.
So far, we’ve learnt that serotonin, the hippocampus, dopamine, the nucleus acumbens, the ventral tegmental area, neurons, glial cells, and multiple proteins effect depression… will there ever be a day that we will be able to regulate all of these to alleviate depression? I was interested in whether or not therapy or psychotherapy would be a better cure for depression than pharmacology, but it appears that’s not the case according to Cuijepers et al. (2010). However, I feel like everybody experiences depression in varying degrees and cases, and so perhaps for some people, psychotherapy could work just as well, even though it may take longer (18 treatment sessions (Cuijepers et al, 2010)).
So I decided to look and see what the web had about “cures” for depression, and I found this website pretty interesting: http://www.anxiety-and-depression-solutions.com/wellness_concerns/community_depression/011905_depression_real_cure.php
This woman believes that depression can rise from dysfunctional relationships in your CHILDHOOD! Sound a little Freudian? Will understanding how to deal with relationships really cure depression? This sounds a little crazy to me, considering all the neurobiological evidence that has been found with the imbalance of chemicals in one’s brain and the neuroanotomical changes in the brain due to depression… but could depression be a social issue?
References: Cuijpers, P., van Straten, A., Schuurmans, J., van Oppen, P., Hollon, S.D., & Andersson, G. (2010). Psychotherapy for chronic major depression and dysthymia: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(1), 51-62.