When the brain is depressed, a person will likely experience an influx of the stress hormone cortisol. Research suggests that, over time, depression and the resulting stress can actually shrink parts of your brain.
It can also lead to inflammation in the brain, which is thought to be a cause of Alzheimer's disease. In addition, depression can change the structure of your brain resulting in greater chemical imbalances. If you recognize the symptoms of depression in yourself, it's important to seek help as soon as possible to prevent long-term issues. Many people find relief from depression with therapy or medication, or a combination of both.