Is depression a kind of allergic reaction?

Studies of mental functions, behaviors and the nervous system.

Moderators: Calilasseia, ADParker

Is depression a kind of allergic reaction?

#1  Postby DoctorE » Jan 05, 2015 2:19 pm

A growing number of scientists are suggesting that depression is a result of inflammation caused by the body’s immune system


Barely a week goes by without a celebrity “opening up” about their “battle with depression”. This, apparently, is a brave thing to do because, despite all efforts to get rid of the stigma around depression, it is still seen as some kind of mental and emotional weakness.

But what if was nothing of the sort? What if it was a physical illness that just happens to make people feel pretty lousy? Would that make it less of a big deal to admit to? Could it even put a final nail in the coffin of the idea that depression is all in the mind?

According to a growing number of scientists, this is exactly how we should be thinking about the condition. George Slavich, a clinical psychologist at the University of California in Los Angeles, has spent years studying depression, and has come to the conclusion that it has as much to do with the body as the mind. “I don’t even talk about it as a psychiatric condition any more,” he says. “It does involve psychology, but it also involves equal parts of biology and physical health.”

The basis of this new view is blindingly obvious once it is pointed out: everyone feels miserable when they are ill. That feeling of being too tired, bored and fed up to move off the sofa and get on with life is known among psychologists as sickness behaviour. It happens for a good reason, helping us avoid doing more damage or spreading an infection any further.

It also looks a lot like depression. So if people with depression show classic sickness behaviour and sick people feel a lot like people with depression – might there be a common cause that accounts for both?

Continues: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle ... une-system
User avatar
DoctorE
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 11067
Age: 60
Male

Iceland (is)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Is depression a kind of allergic reaction?

#2  Postby Dracena » Jan 05, 2015 3:59 pm

:coffee:
User avatar
Dracena
 
Posts: 2386
Age: 46
Female

Jolly Roger (arr)
Print view this post

Re: Is depression a kind of allergic reaction?

#3  Postby DavidMcC » Jan 05, 2015 4:36 pm

I doubt that ALL depressions are caused this way. I see it as ONE cause.
May The Voice be with you!
DavidMcC
 
Name: David McCulloch
Posts: 14913
Age: 66
Male

Country: United Kigdom
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Is depression a kind of allergic reaction?

#4  Postby Fallible » Jan 05, 2015 4:40 pm

Indeed all depression is demonstrably not caused this way, unless one wants to argue that people who are depressed due specifically to life events also all happened to have an allergic reaction at the same time. Intrigued by the article though.
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
User avatar
Fallible
RS Donator
 
Name: Alice Pooper
Posts: 51561
Age: 47
Female

Country: Engerland na na
Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Re: Is depression a kind of allergic reaction?

#5  Postby CdesignProponentsist » Jan 05, 2015 4:53 pm

Seems inflammation is at the root of a lot of killers lately - cancer, heart disease and mood disorders. I'm beginning to think managing it might be the best strategy for longevity and quality of life.

I just wish I had the will power to do what it takes. Exercise and proper diet.
"Things don't need to be true, as long as they are believed" - Alexander Nix, CEO Cambridge Analytica
User avatar
CdesignProponentsist
 
Posts: 12609
Age: 53
Male

Country: California
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Is depression a kind of allergic reaction?

#6  Postby DavidMcC » Jan 05, 2015 5:03 pm

CdesignProponentsist wrote:Seems inflammation is at the root of a lot of killers lately - cancer, heart disease and mood disorders. I'm beginning to think managing it might be the best strategy for longevity and quality of life.

I just wish I had the will power to do what it takes. Exercise and proper diet.

Indeed, and if you fail to stay fit and healthy, that can surely become an additional source of depression in itself, as well as a possible cause of premature death, due to cardio-vascular disease.
May The Voice be with you!
DavidMcC
 
Name: David McCulloch
Posts: 14913
Age: 66
Male

Country: United Kigdom
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Is depression a kind of allergic reaction?

#7  Postby laklak » Jan 05, 2015 5:08 pm

Makes sense. The last depressive episode I dealt with was likely because I was allergic to my ex-wife, the fact that I lived in New York and my shitty job. Quit my job, divorced the ex and moved to a foreign country and - bingo - no more depression.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way. - Mark Twain
The sky is falling! The sky is falling! - Chicken Little
I never go without my dinner. No one ever does, except vegetarians and people like that - Oscar Wilde
User avatar
laklak
RS Donator
 
Name: Florida Man
Posts: 20700
Age: 66
Male

Country: The Great Satan
Swaziland (sz)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Is depression a kind of allergic reaction?

#8  Postby orpheus » Jan 06, 2015 4:21 am

I hope this research proves fruitful, and it seems like there may be something to it. However, the article itself offended and infuriated me, so I'm going to comment on that. (All bold emphasis mine)

Caroline Williams of The Guardian wrote:
Barely a week goes by without a celebrity “opening up” about their “battle with depression”.


Why the inverted commas? Already I begin to have doubts about Ms. Williams's attitude.

This, apparently, is a brave thing to do because, despite all efforts to get rid of the stigma around depression, it is still seen as some kind of mental and emotional weakness.


"apparently"? My doubts grow.

But what if was nothing of the sort? What if it was a physical illness that just happens to make people feel pretty lousy? Would that make it less of a big deal to admit to? Could it even put a final nail in the coffin of the idea that depression is all in the mind?


"feel pretty lousy"? Now I question not only her attitude but her knowledge as well. To say that someone afflicted with depression "feels pretty lousy" is the grossest understatement I've read in a very long time.

The basis of this new view is blindingly obvious once it is pointed out: everyone feels miserable when they are ill. That feeling of being too tired, bored and fed up to move off the sofa and get on with life is known among psychologists as sickness behaviour.


Sure, that's precisely what depression feels like. :picard:

Evidently Ms. Williams has never suffered from depression. Nor, it seems, has she actually seen anyone suffering from the disease. Has she even read anything about it?

So if people with depression show classic sickness behaviour and sick people feel a lot like people with depression – might there be a common cause that accounts for both?


There might be, and I truly hope this research leads to new treatments, because depression is widespread, and very serious indeed. And this is the point: not only does Ms.Williams evince a somewhat sneering and condescending attitude toward depression sufferers, she also just doesn't get that it is a fucking serious disease. That it is often catastrophically debilitating. That it is not infrequently fatal.

Which is why it's infuriating to read "sick people feel a lot like people with depression". That is an offensive and staggering trivialization.

If this is serious research, The Guardian should have put a serious writer on the story.

I glanced at a few of the comments, and I see I'm not the only one who sees this in the article. One example:

Ana Leithead Spross wrote:Whatever its cause, depression is a dangerous and difficult state. It is likely that the author has no own experience, or has seen anyone with depression up close. I wonder if your publication would use inverted commas about sufferers of any other potentially lethal disease? And may I remind the author - the brain is a body part. I am disappointed you let this slip through, Guardian.






(Edited to add venom and indignation)
Let's try for peace in 2018, shall we?
User avatar
orpheus
 
Posts: 7274
Age: 55
Male

Country: New York, USA
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Is depression a kind of allergic reaction?

#9  Postby Fallible » Jan 06, 2015 11:18 am

:clap:
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
User avatar
Fallible
RS Donator
 
Name: Alice Pooper
Posts: 51561
Age: 47
Female

Country: Engerland na na
Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Re: Is depression a kind of allergic reaction?

#10  Postby Horwood Beer-Master » Jan 06, 2015 12:33 pm

So is depression less prevalent among people taking antihistamines and/or anti-inflammatories? :ask:
Also available on Rationalia

Image
User avatar
Horwood Beer-Master
 
Name: Ian
Posts: 2186
Age: 39

Country: England
England (eng)
Print view this post


Return to Psychology & Neuroscience

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest