The Neuroscience of Depression

Last week Sherina, Lynley and I attended an excellent training workshop with Dr Pieter Rossouw who specialises in neuropsychotherapy.
Here’s a basic interpretation of what Pieter was teaching. I’m not a scientist or an Academic but as a Counsellor I understand the debilitating effects of depression so this is what I understood written in summary.

Pieter’s focus was the Brain. Depression is a state of how the brain organises itself.

The brain is a network of connections.
A 10 month old baby creates 250,000 new networks per minute.
A 35 year old creates 800 per day.

Depression=Avoidance.The brain dis-connects. The normal process of thriving has been compromised. Healthy people engage with their environment. Depression causes people to disconnect from environment. Depression works as a protective system of ‘survival’ within the brain (the last stance).
Depression decreases the awareness of others. A depressed person will see the world through a different set of glasses and interpret signs and meanings very differently to a well person.
Anxiety is the pre-cursor to depression. You cannot have a major depression without an anxious brain. The depressed brain is hard wired and stuck in a neural loop. The route is A to B.

To recover from depression new networks must be developed within the brain. New routes must be developed from A to C and A to D and so on to lessen the hard wiring of A to B.

How to develop these new routes and pathways in the brain:

Talking with someone will physically change the structure of the brain.
It will enhance the neural networks and create interconnectedness.
At the Counselling Centre we have created a safe space for people to talk to experienced and professional Counsellors

Talk to your Doctor. Medication may help you.

Read the post below “Enjoying your Mental Health”

Really focus on getting adequate sleep, exercise and nutritious food.