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  • Hey there, welcome to Life Noggin.

  • I may appear to be happy and animated all the time, pun intended.

  • But some days I fall into a slump.

  • We all do. It's a part of life.

  • These feelings are real, and the effects aren't always just mental.

  • You can actually feel them in a physical sense, too.

  • But how? And why? Let's find out.

  • Depression can be the result of a chemical imbalance in the noggin.

  • Chemicals called neurotransmitters aid in sending messages to different nerve cells in your brain.

  • Some neurotransmitters can control your mood.

  • When you're depressed, these neurotransmitters might not be functioning properly, causing severe changes in mood.

  • Depression can be caused by things like stressful life events, certain medications, death of a loved one, hormonal changes, and of course, caused by faulty mood regulation in the brain.

  • One part of the brain affected by depressions is called the hippocampus.

  • The hippocampus processes long term memory in recollection. It also registers fear, and it is actually smaller in people with depression.

  • Ongoing exposure to stress impairs nerve cell growth in this part of the brain.

  • Not only can depression have you feeling down, but it can actually physically affect parts of your body other than the brain.

  • Chronic fatigue, insomnia, over-sleeping and general aches and pain are just a few examples.

  • Pain threshold can be altered by abnormal functioning of the brain's neurotransmitters like serotonin, making people with depression more sensitive to pain.

  • Another interesting physical change that can come with depression is eyesight.

  • Recent studies show that the retinas of depressed patients were actually less sensitive to contrast.

  • Contrast vision relies on cells that in turn rely on dopamine.

  • People with depression are often shown to have less dopamine, which is important for drive and attention.

  • These findings are still relatively new but very interesting.

  • One unfortunate problem that comes with depression is the fact that it can actually increase your risk of physical illness.

  • Stress hormones are increased which can lead to more problems.

  • When we're stressed, our immune system's ability to fight off antigens of foreign bodies is reduced, making it more difficult to fight off infections.

  • Corticosteroid, a stress hormone, can actually suppress the overall effectiveness of the immune system by lowering the amount of lymphocytes, which are cells that destroy the bodies of invaded viruses.

  • Did you know the seasons can actually affect your mood?

  • It's called seasonal affective disorder.

  • When there's less daylight your, brain can increase neurotransmitters like melatonin.

  • More daylight, and your brain will produce more serotonin.

  • In the fall and the winter where there're shorter days and less daylight, your body might produce less serotonin and more melatonin.

  • This imbalance can set up the brain for depression to some people who react to seasonal changes.

  • Exposure to more light can help people maintain this chemical balance.

  • If you or someone you know is depressed, please seek help immediately.

  • You can check the links below for some online resources.

  • Going to the doctor, seeing a therapist and thinking positively can work wonders

  • So please don't be afraid to get out there and ask for help.

  • What are some things in life that make you happy?

  • Let's set up a positivity train in the comments.

  • If you see someone with a similar interest in the comments, strike up a conversation!

  • Or you can simply tell us what should we talk about next.

  • And if want even more Life Noggin, check out this episode on "The Science of Happiness," and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Links are below.

  • I'm Blocko. This has been Life Noggin.

  • Don't forget to keep on thinking.

Hey there, welcome to Life Noggin.

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    VoiceTube posted on 2022/07/16
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