Depression Isn’t What You Think It Is

“In April 2013, Insel announced that the NIMH would shift its $1.4 billion annual research budget away from projects focusing on DSM diagnoses to instead concentrate on underlying disturbances of brain circuitry. That means using brain imaging to look at the activity of these circuits, as well as studies of brain chemistry, genetics, and thinking patterns. It will also mean studying people with conditions that cut across the disorders defined by the DSM’s checklists of symptoms…

The new approach is starting to bear fruit, as scientists make distinctions between different forms of depression. One type, for example, involves the brain’s reward circuits. Another seems to be linked to impaired communication between the front of the brain and the amygdala, an area deep in the brain that processes emotions. The first type seems to be responsible for a phenomenon called “anhedonia” — an inability to feel pleasure — while the latter may help explain why some people are likely to be pushed into depressive episodes by negative life experiences.”

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Source: buzzfeed.com

Image: Mauricio Lima / Getty Images / Via gettyimages.com

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