New Suggested link in the fight against Depression
Depression is more than simply being unhappy or a bit fed up. It can lead to dramatic consequences on a person’s life. They may feel hopeless and joyless. They may not want to get up in the morning or wake early, usually at 4am, then find it hard to go back to sleep. Depression has been likened to a black dog following the person around, but a new treatment is being hailed as one of the most important discoveries in psychiatry for 20 years. Medication and counselling can help some people, but not everyone.
There are thought to be many reasons why a person can become depressed. For example, some people can develop depression following traumatic life events. However, new research suggests a new possible cause for depression.
It is argued that the person’s immune system, instead of protecting them, is actually altering their brain. Professor Ed Bullmore of the University of Cambridge is at the forefront of the research. He argues that when we are ill, our immune system reacts, you become inflamed. Inflammation is the immune system’s response to danger. If the immune system causes too much inflammation, it can cause damage. If it does not cause enough, the infection will worsen. This can affect our mood as well. The person becomes sleepy, withdrawn and less sociable. He argues that this can be the start of negative thinking that can lead to depression. In the past, it was thought that we feel sorry for ourselves because we are ill, but this new research suggests that the inflammation caused by the infection actually affects our mood.
If you believe that you or someone close to you is depressed, their first port of call should be to visit their doctor for help and advice.
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