Abstract

This article develops the idea that clinical depression can be seen as a typical human response, largely rooted in human culture, to events of loss or times of adversity. Various biological, psychological, and social factors may cause some individuals to have a depressive reaction that is ineffectually limited in time and/or severity. Recovery occurs mainly based on natural resilience mechanisms, which come into play spontaneously, but which are sometimes inhibited or blocked by specific pathological biopsychosocial mechanisms. One of the mechanisms for this could be the influence of the circuits that regulate pleasure and happiness, along the dorsal diencephalic connection (DDC) pathway from the forebrain to the midbrain via the habenula. Therapy works by undermining the biopsychosocial factors that prevent the natural recovery mechanism from working. Treatment should, therefore, be seen as facilitating rather than causing natural recovery. This approach is in line with the high recovery rate after placebo treatments and the positive influence of pharmacological treatments with completely different sites of action. Acceptance of this model means that when studying new treatments for depression, a new paradigm must be applied in which the relative value of antidepressant treatment is specifically weighted in terms of enabling the natural resilience process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1288
Number of pages8
JournalPharmaceuticals
Volume14
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10-Dec-2021

Keywords

  • Antidepressants
  • Depression
  • Forebrain
  • Habenula
  • Mood disorders
  • Natural resilience
  • Neural circuits
  • Placebo
  • Treatment

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