Depression is like a medical illness, in that a person needs specific treatment to feel well again. In the case of depression, the treatment needed is medicine and psychotherapy. Thus, it is very important that a person experiencing depressive symptoms understand that it is not a sign of being weak or of being mentally ill, but that depression -- also called Mood and Affective Disorder -- is caused by a decrease in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.
The term "Mood and Affective Disorders" is the current psychiatric terminology for depressive disorders. Regarding depressed patients, there are theories implicating specific abnormalities in neurochemical and neuropeptide focal lesions in specific brain regions and selective dysfunction of known neural pathways have been proposed.
It is well-known the persons with depression have deficits in memory. Recent research in biologic psychiatry has noted that increased cortisol acting through the activating neurotransmitter NMDA and glutamate causes damage to hippocampal neurons.
Depression and Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Depression has been associated with an increased risk of ischemic heart disease, and has been shown to be a risk factor for increased mortality following myocardial infarction.
There are other medical complications associated with depression in addition to the cardiovascular complications. Other serious medical complications associated with depression include the following...
Yearly/Lifetime Cost of Treatment for Depression
Lifetime psychiatric treatment is necessary because many patients are refractory to current treatment and/or have a concomitant physical or neurologic injury.