The Role Of Depression In Psychiatry

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Depression plays a large role in psychiatry, focuses on the condition known as depression. This often disabling state of being is characterized by feeling of hopelessness, worthlessness, and persistent sadness. This field of psychiatry seeks an understanding of the underlying mechanisms of depression while seeking ways to ameliorate and reverse this condition. There may be many causes, but one of the main theories has to do with the balance of chemicals in the brain.


The causes of depression can be varied, but popular theories have to do with neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that deliver messages of sorts to different parts of the brain. They serve purposes that help to regulate moods.

Many think that depression is linked to an insufficient amount of neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and serotonin. Antidepressant medications alter the amount of these chemicals in the brain in an attempt to alleviate the symptoms of depression.

Depression may initiated by this chemical imbalance, or it may have been precipitated by traumatic life events. Antidepressant medications seek to correct the imbalance and ease symptoms until a non-depressed state can be maintained on its own. Some individuals require medication for the long term.


The symptoms of depression can manifest in many different ways. The individual loses interest in the activities of daily life. There is a loss of energy and the appearance of sleep disturbances. There are changes in appetite and resulting changes in weight. There is also a loss of concentration and memory that most notably interferes with work performance.

Irritability and all the symptoms of depression including the generally pessimistic outlook contribute to social isolation. Depression adversely affects every part of life for the person suffering from it.

Life Effects

Depression robs a person of their life. Fatigue prevents them from engaging in activities. Loss of interest keeps them from having a desire to participate in life or even to get help.

Likewise, work suffers ffom all these symptoms. The individual cannot focus, does not have any interest, and may not even have the desire to show up at work.

The suffering that comes with depression is immeasurable. All these symptoms are further complicated by painful feelings of sadness and worthlessness. Life is not the same and feels like it will never improve.

The study of depression in psychiatry aims to heal this terrible condition. Through a thorough investigation of the causes, treatments are developed and refined so that depression may be resolved as quickly as possible. When you understand the symptoms and the effects of this disabling condition then you will understand why this field of psychiatry is so important.

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