The Mayo Clinic defines depression as: “A mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.”
More than just a case of feeling sad or “down”, depression can alter your brain chemistry and may sometimes be caused by imbalances in neurotransmitters. It may require medical intervention aimed at normalizing brain chemistry.
Exercise, eating healthy food selected for its mood enhancing effects, medications, counseling, and bright light therapy are some of the options suggested by healthcare practitioners. These are options that increase serotonin, endorphins, and the chemicals your brain needs to feel optimistic, or at the very least, not “down”. These neurochemicals are needed to create a good mood.
Synctuition.com presents a unique way to achieve all these aims, from the comfort of your own home and requiring only a computer and a set of stereo headphones.
Depression and the hippocampus
There is one more treatment option that is less intrusive, and far more pleasurable. Music and sound therapy. There is evidence showing that music and sound-waves effect structural changes in the brain.
Kari Suzanne Kraus and Barbara Canlon, in studying Neuronal connectivity and interactions between the auditory and limbic systems have found that “Acoustic experience such as sound, noise, or absence of sound induces structural or functional changes in the central auditory system but can also affect limbic regions such as the amygdala and hippocampus.”
In an article on Medical News Today, it is cited that a smaller hippocampus has been tied to depression.
“For the global study – which brings together 15 data sets from Europe, the USA and Australia – the team analyzed MRI brain scans of nearly 9,000 participants: 1,728 with major depression and 7,199 healthy individuals.”
The first main finding confirms that people with major depression have a smaller hippocampus.
This finding has profound implications providing evidence that music and sound waves can cause structural changes in the brain, in the areas that are affected by depression.
Soundwaves can create new brain wave patterns and can change structures in the brain.
Reinventing yourself through sound
Brain training is a very real possibility. This means you can grow new circuits in your brain by practice.
There are two ways the brain learns and makes new connections:
Learning through study, repetition, and practice; and the second way, through experience, using your senses and being immersed in a specific environment that stimulates those senses. The end product of this learning process is emotions, feeling, and application of the learned behavior.