Posted on: 03.12.2022 Posted by: Drlark Comments: 0

June 17, 2004



The Serotonin—Depression Connection

Millions of American women suffer from depression,

compromising their enjoyment of life, their ability to perform successfully

on the job, and their capacity to interact joyously with their friends

and families. In fact, depressive disorders afflict 15 percent of

the American population (primarily women) and have a greater effect

on physical and social functioning, bodily pain and overall health

than diabetes, arthritis and even heart disease. Depression is estimated

to become the second leading cause of disability in the world

by the year 2020.

These are disheartening statistics indeed. Worse

yet, women are at higher risk for depression—they become depressed

at a rate twice that of men.

Why is this so? Some attribute the differences

to women in our society having higher rates of victimization, role

conflicts, internalization of stress and a greater tendency toward

low self-esteem. A study at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

found a link between depression and early childhood trauma. It is

widely known that abused, neglected or unnurtured infants and children

are more likely to suffer from depression as adults. Others in the

medical community believe that genetics and hormones are significant

factors in depression.

Regardless of the roots of depression, most depressed

people have an important common denominator: low levels of the neurotransmitter

serotonin. Of all your body’s chemicals, none has a more widespread

effect on the brain and physiology than serotonin. It plays a key

role in regulating temperature, blood pressure, blood clotting,

immunity, pain, digestion, sleep and circadian (daily) rhythms,

and is often referred to as the body’s own mood-altering drug.

In your brain, serotonin inhibits the firing of

brain cells (neurons), thus producing a relaxing effect on your

mood. Researchers believe that it helps to counteract the more “primitive”

centers of the brain. When such inhibitory functions fail, in extreme

cases the result may be binge eating, drug addiction and even violence.

In milder cases, such as mild to moderate PMS, “grouchiness”

and irritability are the result.

Read More on Depression:

Getting Started

Depletion Equals Depression

Quiz: Are You Depressed?

Quiz: How Balanced are Your Neurotransmitters?

Keep it SIMPLE tip — Secret Weapon Against


Nutritional Therapies

Neurotransmitters Are Derived From Nutrients

in Your Diet

Replenishing the Pathways

SAMe – the Natural Antidepressant

Complementary Therapies

Depression Release Breathing Exercise

Yoga Pose for Depression Relief



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