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Is depression a benefit in disguise?

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The fluorine in the prozac molecule is on a CF3 group which means that it is not breaking up into F- anions in your body. The C-F bond is extremely strong - Carbon–fluorine bond - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hi Spin, taking wiki is fine though its much more complex than that. I knew that you would take this as a challenge, however it takes lots of energy for me to debate properly. This is a very important topic for me except I am done discussing for now. I would like to point out that earlier I pointed out that anti depressants use the adrenal glands as a trigger to release serotonin as a cortisol stress response. I do want to say I still disagree with the focus. And I tend to think hormones are part of the same or similar chemistry of the brain, that is to say nothing in the body is exclusive and isolated. And unfortunately people tend to think much of what goes on in the body is isolated, a tenancy to assume just because the point at which the neurotransmitters release is different than hormones means that the trigger point must be neurotransmitters solely responsible in governing the functionality of mental health. I am doubtful. I believe there is a correlation that people are missing between the way the endocrine system functions and the way the brain and neurotransmitters function but that's just me.

And no, in the case of plastics most consumer products are not safe, and I would disagree with your thoughts about fluorine and plastic however that is going off topic slightly since Aphrodite-gone-awry wants to know whether depression is a benefit in disguise or not.

And I said no that there are no benefits to depression. And then I went into presenting reasons why depression happens because this is a topic that I am passionate about since it has affected me greatly and the prospects of life have been limited by its effect. However depression does generate a different kind of creativity. And the kind of writing I used to do was incredible, and maybe that is part benefit, where depression activates parts of the brain that heighten the emotional and intellectual extremes in artistic integrity, be it through the media, film, literature and art forms that would normally not be there in the same way had a person been happy. At the expense of living a proper and healthy life.

Thyroid hormones as neurotransmitters.

During brain development, before the apparatus of neurotransmission has been set into place, many neurotransmitters act as growth regulators. In adult brain, their role in neurotransmission comes to the fore but neuronal plasticity and other growth-related processes are their continuing responsibility. This has been clearly demonstrated for catecholamines. Previous as well as recent evidence now indicates that thyroid hormones may participate in the developing and adult brain through similar mechanisms. Immunohistochemical mapping of brain triiodothyronine (antibody specificity established by numerous appropriate tests) demonstrated that the hormone was concentrated in both noradrenergic centers and noradrenergic projection sites. In the centers (locus coeruleus and lateral tegmental system) triiodothyronine staining, like that of tyrosine hydroxylase, was heavily concentrated in cytosol and cell processes. By contrast, in noradrenergic targets, label was most prominent in cell nuclei. Combined biochemical and morphologic data allows a construct of thyroid hormone circuitry to unfold: The locus coeruleus is conveniently located just beneath the ependyma of the 4th ventricle. Thyroxine, entering the brain via the choroid plexus, is preferentially delivered to subependymal brain structures. High concentrations of locus coeruleus norepinephrine promote active conversion of thyroxine to triiodothyronine, leading to the preeminence of the locus coeruleus as a site of triiodothyronine concentration. Results of treatment with the locus coeruleus neurotoxin DSP-4 established that axonal transport accounts for delivery of both triiodothyronine and norepinephrine from locus coeruleus to noradrenergic terminal fields. The apparatus for transduction of thyronergic and noradrenergic signals at both membrane and nuclear sites resides in the postsynaptic target cells. Upon internalization of hormone in post-synaptic target cells, genomic effects of triiodothyronine, norepinephrine, and/or their second messengers are possible and expected. The evidence establishes a direct morphologic connection between central thyronergic and noradrenergic systems, supporting earlier proposals that triiodothyronine or its proximate metabolites may serve as cotransmitters with norepinephrine in the adrenergic nervous system.

Cotransmitters sounds much more plausible in my mind.
 

spin-1/2-nuclei

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Hi Spin, taking wiki is fine though its much more complex than that. I knew that you would take this as a challenge, however it takes lots of energy for me to debate properly. This is a very important topic for me except I am done discussing for now.

I think you're confusing my motives. I was simply trying to understand your position. You posed questions and made statements related to my specific area of knowledge and I replied. I read your responses and tried to gain more insight into why you have the opinions you have. This wasn't taken as a challenge for me - as I said before you can either take or leave my input as you see fit. I'm not on a mission to convert just to understand, and understanding someone doesn't require agreeing with them, at least for me.

If you don't find the information I provided useful then you can simply disregard it. Obviously this topic is important to you and I can understand that. I don't agree with your opinions or your position but that is not required to have a successful exchange. I'v read your posts and I understand where you are coming from I just don't agree and you don't agree with me either but that doesn't make this a challenge, it's not like one of us has to win.
 

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I said challenging which means the discussion was interesting and thoughtful, nothing about wining. There are no wins when it comes to depression.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge. The aim is the same, wanting people to help people get better and discussion is a good and healthy exploration of the subject.
 

AphroditeGoneAwry

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Depression a manifestation of "progress"

Okay. New thoughts on depression. Edward Hagen's line of thinking as it regards depression being a common phenomenon; an evolutionary adaptation so that people could jockey for what they needed in their society or family or relationships, is right in that depression serves as a trigger that something is wrong, like a pain receptor. But I think depression in our ancestors was neither naturally as common as he makes it out to be, nor a means to an ends--a way to get something we wanted or needed.

When reading about cultures untouched by society--and there are few today that are untouched, you have to go back to anthropologists who traveled to other places like Tibet or South America or some regions in Africa in the 60's and 70's--the indigenous people are described as basically very happy, despite having to live a more rigorous existence. Indeed happiness seems to be a common theme among them, as described by various outside visitors, visitors who stayed on and lived within the tribes. It baffled them that with such a physically hard life, the people could still be so happy. That implies that depression as a common experience so that one could bargain for what they wanted or needed, or pursue some other kind of existence within the tribe, just doesn't jive. However, Ed Hagen, on his own modern travels (and he is widely traveled) to remote jungles and populations, notices that even natives are depressed, not unlike in our culture.

I think what is happening is that these later travels by anthropologists are pointing to more rates of depression in people that 50 years ago were basically happy because the cultures themselves have changed, which affects the people in them. All cultures today are subject to 'progress' in the way that is familiar to us in the west (and the east as well); no area on earth is untouched anymore, not even the most remote mountaintop in Tibet. Progress taps into globalization and centralization, which causes all the 'isms:' consumerism, materialism, narcissism, etc. Depression is a result of that; a result of not living according to one's preordained evolutionary map.

I've already pointed out that depression is stage 4 of the 5 stage grief process (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance). If we pull back our gaze from the idea of acute grief, and apply the grief process to society, we can see that people within it are all in various states of the grief process, and that there are many layers upon layers of grieving going on; physical, emotional, spiritual, familial, sexual, etc. So we seem angry at one moment, avoidant at another moment, fearful, accepting, stubborn, apathetic,(all reflections of the grief process) because we are struggling with so many features of our modern society that we are just not really adapted for, and that have happened so recently that there is just no way we could have evolved and been ready for it. This is causing large scale depression in various manifestations, depending on the person.

For example, a remote culture moving to a monetary economy from a bartering one, might put many men or women out of being able to provide for their families, leading to higher rates of depression. Not living as nature intended for us to live catches up with us; man is not made to work 60 hour weeks in a cubicle tapping on a computer keyboard. A new mother who puts her newborn in the crib and lets it cry its head off and gives it a bottle because her MD tells her this is good parenting. It all leads to the grief process and one of the markers of this is depression. Anger is also a huge problem in our culture, and other developed or developing countries. Denial, bargaining, and acceptance are more difficult to see, with acceptance being equated with resignation as the most sad one of all, because we have basically given up in many ways. Sometimes acceptance can be good, but to accept that we cannot live as nature intended, or live instinctively, results in a great loss, even if we calmly go about our lives and do not notice that.

So, yes, depression is an emotion that helps us to do something different. It is a natural expression of being out of sync. But when it becomes common it is a red flag that something far more serious has gone awry, that an entire system of people is not working the way it was intended to work.
 

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Researchers are beginning to identify the difference

All of us, at times, ruminate or brood on a problem in order to make the best possible decision in a complex situation. But sometimes, rumination becomes unproductive or even detrimental to making good life choices. Such is the case in depression, where non-productive ruminations are a common and distressing symptom of the disorder. In fact, individuals suffering from depression often ruminate about being depressed. This ruminative thinking can be either passive and maladaptive (i.e., worrying) or active and solution-focused (i.e., coping).

The interactions of two distinct and competing neural networks, the default mode network (DMN) and the task positive network (TPN), are particularly relevant to this question. Whereas the DMN supports passive, self-related thought, the TPN underlies active thinking required for solving problems, explained study author J. Paul Hamilton.

Using brain imaging technology, Hamilton and his colleagues found that, in depressed patients, increasing levels of activity in the DMN relative to the TPN are associated with higher levels of maladaptive, depressive rumination and lower levels of adaptive, reflective rumination. These findings indicate that the DMN and TPN interact in depression to promote depression-related thinking, with stronger DMN influence associated with more worrying, less effective coping, and more severe depression.

"It makes sense that non-productive ruminations would engage default-mode networks in the brain as these systems enable the brain to 'idle' when humans are not focused on specific tasks," commented Dr. John Krystal,editor of Biological Psychiatry. "Better understanding the factors that control the switch between these modes of function may provide insights into depression and its treatment."​

< link >
 

Lily flower

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I would say that a small dose of depression could lead sometone to change a bad situation, but a large dose, (where you can't get out of bed or function), would serve no function at all.
 

prplchknz

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Trying to explain what depression is like to someone who has never had depression, is like a dead person explaining to a living person what being dead is like.
 

krypton1te

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Everything is a benefit in disguise if one looks deep enough.
 

Rail Tracer

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Ask a person who is depressed, more chances than not, the person wouldn't call it a benefit, whether it was a disguise or not.

[MENTION=9273]Vasilisa[/MENTION]

Essentially. Rumination is ok, but too much rumination doesn't help. Like a person with OCD and a person that has slight tendencies for an issue (you can call them quirks) that get things done, but taken to the extreme, these tendencies don't help the situation.

Depression would just be an extreme form of rumination, where thoughts and worries take a life of its own.

Strangely enough, I remember that the more educated a person becomes, the more likely they are to fall prey to depression (or existential ones at least) because they constantly think too much away from their immediately surroundings. The only way to stray away from these tendencies was to ground one's mind so that it didn't wander too far. But once one strays away from his/her surroundings it gets very hard not to stay close.

Hah, the difference between someone who thinks too much and the person that only thinks about his immediate surroundings.
 

AphroditeGoneAwry

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I now see depression as just another emotional road sign that one needs to abandon their current course and cling to God.
 

1487610420

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I now see depression as just another emotional road sign that one needs to abandon their current course and cling to God.

 

Azure Flame

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Everything is a benefit in disguise if one looks deep enough.

this is some Ni mumbo jumbo.

My answer is: depression makes you a needy bitch and brings others down. At the very best you inspire someone to invent depression pills so they can make you stfu.
 

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Seems to me depression may be somewhat like physical pain. From what I can tell, some kinds of physical pain are functional and useful because they alert you that something's wrong (I'm thinking that someone without pain receptors may not notice that they have an injury or infection or whatever). Other kinds of physical pain are not functional or useful, and sometimes this second kind pain can create a feedback loop (I'm thinking about some kinds of muscle tension pain where the pain makes the muscles clench up which continues causing the pain which makes the muscles clench up etc.)

Similarly: I think that some types or instances of depression may be functional/useful - that is, they may be an important indication that something is wrong in the environment or in the self. I feel like the knee-jerk tendency to medicate or otherwise mask the symptom might really get in the way of acting on the cause, in situations like that. But with other types or instances, depression may not be useful or functional and may even become a feedback loop.
 

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I now see depression as just another emotional road sign that one needs to abandon their current course and cling to God.

One can argue that that is essentially what god is, a mechanism that stops a person from straying too far towards uncertainy, doubt, rumination.... etc.
 

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Jungian view on depression is that depression is not an illness, but an symptom of an underlying problem and that its the underlying problems that needs to be focused on rather than the symptoms of the problems(i.e. the state of depression).

Taking antidepressants just takes away the symptoms, but does not cure the actual problem. Pills might help if the depression is REALLY bad and when combined with therapy, but just taking pills wont heal the person.
 

AphroditeGoneAwry

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One can argue that that is essentially what god is, a mechanism that stops a person from straying too far towards uncertainy, doubt, rumination.... etc.

If God were just a mechanism for doing that, then that mechanism would be pretty faulty. Since God is not faulty, God cannot be a mere mechanism.
 

EJCC

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Jungian view on depression is that depression is not an illness, but an symptom of an underlying problem and that its the underlying problems that needs to be focused on rather than the symptoms of the problems(i.e. the state of depression).

Taking antidepressants just takes away the symptoms, but does not cure the actual problem. Pills might help if the depression is REALLY bad and when combined with therapy, but just taking pills wont heal the person.
I pretty much agree with this. I wish I knew more about the hereditary components, though. Depression does run in families, but I haven't studied that much so I don't know what roles nature and nurture play, respectively.

Also Seasonal Affective Disorder would be an exception, I guess -- unless the "underlying problem" was your location on the globe? Which you could fix by moving to the tropics for the winter?
 

highlander

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However, clinical depression is quite different to feeling a bit down. People in this state may ruminate over their problems, but they lack the capacity to actually change them. That ruminating cripples a person's mind with negativity and their motivation and drive to take action is severely hampered. You might know what's wrong but you can't do anything about it - how can that help?

To the point of the OP, I have wondered on occasion if there is some kind of function that is served by depression or by similar or related negative experiences like grief. I wouldn't be entirely surprised if there is some kind of evolutionary value that came from it. I also wouldn't be surprised if there is absolutely no or little value whatsoever. Humans develop cataracts. There's not much good that comes out of that. Cancer and heart disease kills us. There is also dementia and Alzheimer's. People might also have asthma or schizophrenia. These are things that humans are susceptible to. They don't help us in any way.

Jungian view on depression is that depression is not an illness, but an symptom of an underlying problem and that its the underlying problems that needs to be focused on rather than the symptoms of the problems(i.e. the state of depression).

Taking antidepressants just takes away the symptoms, but does not cure the actual problem. Pills might help if the depression is REALLY bad and when combined with therapy, but just taking pills wont heal the person.

Regardless as to whether or not it is an illness, a bad bout of depression can severely impact a person's ability to function in day to day life, with negative impacts on relationships and employment for example. It's a serious issue. It's not a silver bullet but medications really make a difference in some people's lives, whether it is to help them through a serious temporary problem or whether it is to treat a long term hereditary predisposition to depression. I think there are natural methods, like exercise, which can make a big difference as well.
 

Rail Tracer

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If God were just a mechanism for doing that, then that mechanism would be pretty faulty. Since God is not faulty, God cannot be a mere mechanism.

The mechanism is faulty precisely because god isn't faulty. And people cling to ideas that do not seem faulty.
 
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