The word depression is used to describe various and sometimes overlapping experiences.
For many people, being depressed means feeling emotions driving them, as in being sad, 'blue', downhearted, disappointed, disillusioned or angry, a person may feel all these experiences without being what is called ‘clinically' depressed.
Clinical depression is denoted by a, physical and cognitive (thinking) state that is intense and long-lasting, having significant and detrimental effects on a person's day-to-day life, a state of being that requires some form of intervention to create a change of condition, and attitude to life.
Causes or predisposing factors; Depression can result from experiencing an external event that causes fear or pain to be stored in the body and affect the mind. The mind keeps obsessing, going back and delving into it and reliving it, such as serious loss, chronic illness, early life experiences, difficult relationships, also a fear of change in relationships, financial problems, or any unwelcome change in life patterns that leaves an impression stored in the body, that can trigger a depressive episode.
Epigenetics is perceived to have a robust energetic effect on mental health conditions and psychiatric disorders.
History of the Science of Epigenetics. Debunking the great Myth that we are a product of our parents DNA. Why? Because of alterations in gene function and DNA sequencing. Because of cellular and physiological traits, or the external and environmental factors that turn our genes on or off, determining how our cells actually read those genes. Epigenetics focuses on the ways of heritable traits can be associated with the chemical modification of DNA or of the structural and regulatory proteins bound to the DNA..it is these that alters the expression in each individual, and the responses at the cellular level that mediates the body`s recognised familiar action, it shows that the Genome can be modified by environmental factors. When we change our belief and attitude to what we experience, we are not stuck with the condition, it can be changed. We are not powerless to change.
The name signifies the discovery in 1930 by HJ Muller of what is called position effect-variation. More than 80 years has passed with the ongoing studies culminating in 2014 by many eminent scientists and doctors of medical research, including the efforts of Dr Bruce Lipton`s work in stem cell research and the discovery of a cluster of cells that sit above the genome, it is this cluster of cells that instructs the DNA genome in its response. It was through stem cell research that recognition was made of the chemistry of this cluster of cells pasted on at conception, from parent to child, consisting of the family of origins, beliefs, perceptions of certain things, past experiences and impressions of and from past learned responses. It is this cluster of cells that changes the gene DNA sequencing. Effecting not just illness, family history of diseases, but also attitudes can be past on.
This process, known as epigenesis, refers to alterations in gene function caused by mechanisms other than changes in the gene’s DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes of a gene can result in persistent alterations in its expression and thereby the physical traits, or phenotype, associated with that gene. These epigenetic changes in the gene can even be inherited by future generations. Recent advances suggest that epigenetic mechanisms may have robust effects on the manifestation of psychiatric disorders.
An intriguing and compelling story has emerged on how epigenetics may mediate the persistent effects of adverse experiences early in life. This vulnerability has been linked to a dysregulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary and adrenal axis (HPA), which mediates the body's stress responses, they orchestrate the `fight or flight` response to perceived acute stress.
Persistently high levels of fear or pain manifesting as a stress response, particularly during infancy and childhood, disrupt this homeostatic feedback loop so much so that the individual becomes hyper responsive to a given now recognised level of stress, with the now excessive corticosterone secretion now coursing throughout the body`s systems, it feeds the triggering response maintaining the recognised `normal` hyper responsiveness eventually causing the depression of various systems thus ensuring a mental fatigue and experience of depression.