Despite depression being widespread and even deadly, experts are still baffled as to the cause. Of course we all know of the triggers for the disorder such as trauma, drug abuse and even other medical conditions but the exact cause which results in the series of mental and physiological symptoms is still a grey area. The closest link to depression would be the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin levels and depression have been closely linked in several studies. In fact, numerous foods that are recommended are eventually linked to the body’s production of serotonin. Depression and serotonin seem to go hand in hand for the most part and this article will cover some of the facts.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects a number of processes such as our cardiovascular system, libido, mood, temperature and memory. Due to its strategic role in the brain, it’s no surprise that serotonin and depression have such a close relationship. In fact, antidepressants which are the most common form of treatment for the disorder typically work by altering serotonin levels in the body. Other established treatments such as shock therapy also work to increase serotonin levels in the brain. Besides this, alternative, natural treatments to depression such as exercise have also been recommended due to its effect it has on serotonin levels.
Furthermore, based on certain studies exercise’s impact on serotonin has proven to be more effective than antidepressants which are why medical professionals are recommending exercise and other natural treatments over antidepressants. Besides, prescription medication has several unpleasant side effects in comparison to exercise. Another important chemical you may come across is tryptophan. This chemical again is linked back to the serotonin depression relationship. Tryptophan is a type of amino acid (proteins) that is used to make serotonin in the body. This is why your diet can have a marked effect on your depression symptoms. There are several foods that contain tryptophan such as eggs, dairy product and fish.
Research has now concluded that serotonin and depression are closely connected and inadequate levels of serotonin are in fact the cause of the disorder. Basically, anything that may cause inadequate levels of serotonin levels to be produced or anything that hampers production of serotonin can be a cause for the condition. Interestingly, serotonin levels can be regulated and boosted solely by natural treatments which suggest that treatment for depression does not require antidepressants.