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[Neuroscience] Depression, behavior, and Neurobiology

John H. j_hasenkam at yahoo.com.au
Thu May 18 03:13:12 EST 2006

18/05/2006 2:56PM

Caveat: the hypothesis, more correctly appelled as a fancy, is that
depression is caused by a chemical imbalance. Since the mental health
community has felt free to engage this fancy I'm quite happy to carry
it to its logical conclusion and in so doing note the warning of Camus,
"It is always easy to be logical, it is almost impossible to be logical
to the bitter end." (The Myth of Sisyphus)

Low serotonin, dopamine, or norepinephrine are neurobiological
correlates of depression(perhaps, maybe, so we are led to believe). To
state that low serotonin causes depression is to overlook the fact that
both occur simultaneously where as a cause needs to be antecedent.
Hence what should be addressed is not low serotonin, but what has
caused the low serotonin. The great danger is that in treating
depression with drugs we are never getting at the primary causes of
depression. Drugs cannot cure depression they can only manage it. Drugs
should be seen as managing the condition and the commencement of
treatment, not the end of treatment. Thankfully over the last several
years the trend has been towards a more comprehensive therapeutic

What if you made a group of people behave in a depressive fashion,
particularly with respect to neurotic thinking? For example, take a
group of Australians and put them in one of their migrant detention
centre camps. How long ... .Will this eventually lead to low
serotonin\nore\dopamine? If so, what sorts of preconditions (eg. 5ht
short allele, recent psychological or physical trauma, childhood
neglect) will make individuals within this group more likely to show
the neurobiological correlates typically associated with depression?
Apart from the obvious neurotransmitters other candidates for
observation would include: CRF - ACTH - CORT dynamics (depressives can
exhibit high, low , and normal cort readings), acetylcholine, GABA
(some evidence to suggest it falls in depression), interleukins 1,6,
ifn gamma.

In short, can depressive behavior induce the neurobiological correlates
of depression?

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