Inflammation and Depression

Inflammation is a cause and a symptom of many different diseases, with depression counted in the long list. It has been a hot topic in recent years for Depression researchers because a solid ’cause’ is the Holy Grail.  If you find the cause, you can find a successful treatment regime that much quicker. Unfortunately, it is not a straight line between the presence of inflammation and a depressive episode.

Depression is most definitely not an inflammatory disorder and not every person diagnosed with depression has increased inflammation.  Psychological stress is more of an indicator of a depressive episode starting than just about anything else. Inflammation tends to be present in depressed individuals with other risk factors for inflammation. For example, the presence of something like an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). That does not preclude the possibility that an anti-inflammatory drug might be of some benefit to those patients with an IBD and serious depressive episode.

What Does This Mean for Depression Treatment?

As Dr. Charles Raison states ,”Our recent celebration of all things inflammatory will not allow an escape from the truth that psychiatric treatment will never be one-size-fits -all.” The wide spectrum of medications will still be needed, as will procedures such as Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).  Talk therapy is still a much-needed treatment avenue for individuals with the variety of depression diagnoses. At the end of the day, patients will have to continue advocating for the treatment plan that works best for them, oftentimes a combination of all of the above.

By jebrownwriter

Houston, TX-based Writer and Photographer. Proud pet rescuer who spends nearly all his money on them.

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