Depression and the brain – early losses and trauma.

rainy day

Certain events can have a long lasting physical as emotional consequences. Early losses and emotional trauma may leave you more prone to depression later in life.

Profound early losses like the death of a loved one or the withdrawal of a loved one’s affection may resonate throughout life and express itself in a depression later in life. When the person is not aware of the origins of the depression it can be difficult to move past the depression. Unless the person gains a conscious understanding of the source of the condition, later losses or disappointments may trigger its return.

Traumas can be stored in the brain and the body. A study showed that women who were abused as children (sexually or physically) had more extreme stress responses than women who had not been abused. The women had higher level of the stress hormones ACTH and cortisol and that their hearts beat faster when performing a stressful task as solving mathematical equations or speaking in front of an audience.

Researchers believe that early trauma causes subtle changes in brain function that can lead to symptoms of depression or anxiety. The key brain regions involved in the stress response may be altered at the chemical or cellular level. Changes might include fluctuations in the concentration of neurotransmitters or damage to nerve cells. However, further investigation is needed to clarify the relationship between the brain, psychological trauma, and depression.


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Annie from Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse shared this post on her blog. If you want to have a look, you can click here or if you want to visit her blog, just click on the name of the blog.

Thank you so much Annie!

16 thoughts on “Depression and the brain – early losses and trauma.

    1. I’m glad you seem interested in the topic because it’s becoming a mini-series again with data and surveys πŸ™‚
      I know it is scary but it is so real. What children see, hear and experience and how they process that through play or drawings it’s incredible but sometimes incredibly hard to witness. And it shows us how nurture is also so important.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I wonder how often people experience trauma in childhood yet don’t remember it? Since the experience creates changes in the brain, even if the memory fades from consciousness, it could still effect mental health later on in life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When you don’t remember and you you’re not bothered by symptoms of earlier trauma, I would think all is good for the time being.
      I believe when the memory doesn’t remember, the body will and you’ll notice some effects. Maybe in the form of depression, worrying, anxiety and so on. The difficulty is – like you said – to find the source of the disturbances. And to asses what is ‘normal’ and what is not. Repressed memories are real and will have an effect.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Early childhood experiences can change the trajectory of your life. I was accused of something as a second grader. Something I did not do. I was coerst into admitting doing the deed and call my mother to confess. Hence forth I have never trusted the authority of authority figures. Lost much respect for school principals and the like. It created a strong filter for future accusations. The good guys were not always what they appeared to be. I still use this filter today. I’m 78.


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