New Research Says Depression Is Not A Choice, It's A Form Of Brain Damage

A study conducted by the ENIGMA MDD Working group has broken many notions of how depression affects the brain.

It has been believed for a number of years that brain damage caused or worsened chances of chronic depression.

This study provided impressive data that shows that persistent depression causes physiological damage to the brain. This gives everyone more reason to try to be positive and happy.

Published in Molecular Psychology, the study surveyed an unprecedented 9,000 individual samples.

The relationship between depression and damage is specifically revealed in the health of the hippocampus.

Past studies revealed a distinct relationship is the size of the hippocampus and depression, but the testing groups were never large enough to yield definite results.

No testing sample has been this large, so the results proved the theory of depression's true cause and effect.

It governs the creation of new memories, the formation of long term memories and spatial navigation. It is located in the medial temporal lobe of the brain aka the center of the lower middle part of the brain.

The hippocampus is present on both halves of the brain. It houses the amygdala, which has been previously linked to depression.

It is important to understand that the hippocampus not only forms and maintains memories, but is crucial in controlling emotions.

ENIGMA took magnetic resonance images (MRI) that compared the images of 1,728 patients diagnosed with chronic depression to the images of 7,199 healthy individuals.

The patients diagnosed with chronic depression showed a definite shrinkage of hippocampal volume, up to 1.24 percent. Professor Ian Hickie, the co-author of the study explains the relationship of the hippocampus and emotions more eloquently,

"Your whole sense of self depends on continuously understanding who you are in the world – your state of memory is not about just knowing how to do Sudoku or remembering your password – it's the whole concept we hold of ourselves... We've seen in a lot of other animal experiments that when you shrink the hippocampus, you don't just change memory, you change all sorts of other behaviors associated with that – so shrinkage is associated with a loss of function."

As the hippocampus shrinks, your memories can become more negative, making your expectations for the future just as bleak. It becomes a cycle of self fulfillment.

Not reigning in your perspective, limits the effectiveness and functionality of your brain. More research has to be done to examine the reversibility of this particular kind of damage.

There has been concrete experimentation revealing how mediation and yoga can thicken brain tissue and develop new neural connections.

While positive thinking and mindful living has been acknowledged as vital for mental and spiritual health, now it has been proven to be necessary for your physical self as well.

Just one more reason to change your perspective and brighten your outlook!

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These are the 5 signs of a fake friend

The world is comprised of a variety of people. Knowing how to spot these people is important. Unfortunately, many of us already know that some of these people aren't as genuine as others.

It can be hard when you find out that a friend, colleague, or even a family member is fake, especially when it comes to how they interact with you.

Luckily, there are signs that fake people inevitably display throughout their lives that can help you discern who around you is genuine, and who isn't.

Take a look at these five signs to figure out who in your life is being fake.

1. They Try Hard to Be Liked

Fake people try incredibly hard to be liked by the people around them because they're already aware of how fake they truly are.

This is one of the most obvious signs a fake person will display because they'll be working harder than most when it comes to interacting with others, or simply out in public.

You can always tell who your genuine friends are because they'll simply be themselves when around other people.

2. They Crave Attention

Fake people can be spotted because they have to be the center of attention. Not only do they work hard in order to be liked, but they also have to be in the spotlight more than necessary.

If you have someone in your life who can't let others take the spotlight, it may be a good indication that they aren't very genuine.

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3. They're Total Show Offs

We already know that fake people crave attention, but because of that, they also show off way more than they should.

Everyone can be a show off at times, but someone who shows off no matter what they're doing is probably fake.

Don't get confused if you have a friend who is naturally good at a number of things; people who are fake tend to advertise, but genuine people won't.

Being good at something doesn't make you a show off.

4. They Gossip All the Time

Gossiping is natural, and we've all let ourselves vent about someone else from time to time. However, fake people will gossip about a lot of people, all the time.

Fake people want to draw negative attention away from themselves because they can't have anyone knowing who they really are.

If you know someone who gossips more than most, say something to stop them and see how they react.

5. They Only Criticize

Another indication you're dealing with a fake person is that they're overly critical.

Fake people can't easily express praise or admiration for other people because they need to look great. If they praise someone else, then that's praise they don't have for themselves.

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