Depressive disorders are treated by a variety of methods, psychological and physical. These treatments are considered to work by changing something fundamental in the brain (physical) or through psychological changes. Since the physical substrate of the psychosocial factors is accepted as the brain, the notion that all these treatments work through the brain is widely accepted among biologically oriented mental health professionals. However, knowledge regarding the specific parts of the brain involved in depression is limited. In this article, a model that provides a preliminary basis for understanding the neuroanatomical substrates of depression is presented. The model discusses and integrates the neuroanatomical basis of each of the different facets of depression including the cognitive, behavioral, and vegetative symptoms. The role of different structures such as the amygdala, cortex, hippocampus, basal ganglia, thalamus, and monoamine systems in the pathophysiology of depression is explicated. © 1992 Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy. All rights reserved.
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