Is the loss of pleasure activity in the brain due to depression less than, equal to, or greater than the overall (combined) activity gained by the brain regions in the limbic system that make you depressed/control depressive emotions (like the amygdala and the hypothalamus) and the brain regions that attempt to gain back pleasure?
Do you have depression? This sounds almost like a question for school? ;0)
Really, there is no scientific SOLID answer to your question. The field of psychiatry is based largely on theory. Even with depression, there are no official answers about causes, or even tretaments. There are only theories.
Honestly, dear, you are WAY overthinking this. There aren't even ANSWERS to the questions you're asking, it is stuff even the most schooled scientists don't understand, therefore YOU are certainly not going to figure all of this out.
The simple fact is...YOU have depression, what have you been doing to address it? I REALLY really urge you to stop searching such complex ideas about this. It's one thing to advance our understanding, but I truly think you're just causing yourself more stress.
I would love to talk about YOUR depression and see what we can do to help.
Where do you get your information from? I'm concerned about your info sources.
And no, there is NOTHING "concretely" known about depression, only theories. I'm sure you've heard about the chemical imbalance theory, a lot of people recite that as if it is fact. It's not, it's another theory. I'm sure there is some level of truth and accuracy in some of these theories, but there is no way to know for sure at this point.
The brain and the psyche are not easy things to study, not like the blood, or an organ. Stop thinking so hard, okay?
It says from a countless number of sources that depression shrinks your brain and that depression is stress and releases too much stress hormones that will kill off the feel-good parts of your brain, causing more depression.
Scientists and researche have done a lot of studying, trying to better understand depression, and how the brain works. There are some things that can be generally related and associated, there are numerous hypotheses, but again, there is nothing concrete, no solid 100% PROOF about any of it. It's a LOT of subjective data, and very little objective data. Both kinds of data are useful, but it's the objective data (something that can be studied directly, measured, etc) that leads to concrete answers. Mental health is not an easy thing to study.
Let me try to ask it this way...if you got a certain answer to your question, how would it change what you're doing to manage your own depression? My bet is, it wouldn't change anything. If you KNEW your brain wasn't shrinking, would you NOT address the depression? Of course not. If you KNEW it WAS shrinking, would you work harder to address your depression?
My bet is, if you got confirmation that indeed depression shrinks the brain, the only thing that info would do for you would be to cause more anxiety and worry about it, am I right? It seems you're already there.
We can only be proactive in addressing our depression in ways that have been successful for others. It sincerely will not benefit you in your fight against depression to have confirmation about something like brain shrinkage.
Rather than focusing on that, and searching sites about that, why not search self help books? Are you in therapy? Taking any meds? I'm sorry, but you are hyper focused on this, and if it was just a curiosity thing and you weren't actually SUFFERING from depression, that would be fine, but since you are, it's very possible that this continued focus will be more harmful than helpful for you.
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