A Depressed Brain Isn’t Damaged Goods
We all have the same basic brain structure although the neuronal connections, determining the activation of and communication between brain circuits, are unique to every person. The particular circuits excited over and over in your brain become the go-to default pattern for you and are the product of your thoughts, interactions with others and the world, and the events that happen to you.
In the 1960s, we were told depression was due to a deficiency of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. Then, a still popular theory blamed depression on too little serotonin. Today, we know that it’s much more complicated than either of these and involves many other neurochemicals which influence and are influenced by depression. (For example: dopamine, oxytocin, GABA, melatonin, endorphins, endocannabinoids.) To oversimplify, each neurotransmitter tends to contribute to a particular depressive symptom.