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Thread: New Research Discovers That Depression Is An Allergic Reaction To Inflammation

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    Default New Research Discovers That Depression Is An Allergic Reaction To Inflammation

    BRENT LAMBERT
    JANUARY 6, 2015

    New research is revealing that many cases of depression are caused by an allergic reaction to inflammation. Tim de Chant of NOVA writes: “Inflammation is our immune system’s natural response to injuries, infections, or foreign compounds. When triggered, the body pumps various cells and proteins to the site through the blood stream, including cytokines, a class of proteins that facilitate intercellular communication. It also happens that people suffering from depression are loaded with cytokines.” Inflammation is caused by obesity, high sugar diets, high quantities of trans fats, unhealthy diets in general, and other causes.

    Read more: https://www.feelguide.com/2015/01/06...-inflammation/


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    Default Re: New Research Discovers That Depression Is An Allergic Reaction To Inflammation

    a very disappointing article! What does "many" mean? What percentage of depressives had high levels of inflammation markers? This report looks very much like confirmation bias in action.

    This is my perspective:

    1. It's possible that obesity is a result, not a cause of inflammation. Correlation is not causation.

    2. My personal observations as a person with episodic major depressive disorder. Of those who sit in the waiting room, the vast majority are normal weight. A very few are either abnormally thin or obese. I have an appointment scheduled for this Thursday. I'll do a count.

    3. My annual blood work always returns very low levels of markers of inflammation.

    4. I get cravings for high-sugar, high-starch foods AFTER the depression sets in. The cravings worsen as the depression deepens. In group therapy sessions, this is a very common report. I can go for years without thinking about potato crisps or cinnamon buns. Depressed, I'll polish off a mega sized bag of Lays or a six-pack of buns - and look for more.

    Depression is no more a monolithic condition than, say, breast cancer or asthma. I'm always deeply
    concerned by the drive toward simplistic, reductionist explanations that seek to plant blame and shame on the sufferer.

    To be clear: I take personal responsibility for my health. I eat well about 95% of the time. I've identified and done my best to manage triggers. I continue to follow the research. I am not a victim - I am a person who lives with depression; in a deep downer, I do suffer.

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    Default Re: New Research Discovers That Depression Is An Allergic Reaction To Inflammation

    Suzanne, I know how you feel. I have had bouts of depression on and off nearly all my life. Within the limits of my knowledge I have always tried to eat well - meaning I followed health recommendations which were accepted at the time. I would say my diet has improved over the last 10 years as I have learned more.

    But when something triggers memories of past abuse (I'm assuming that's what happens) I go down that dark path that depression sufferers are all too familiar with. It's always after an upsetting event, with no change in diet.

    I sometimes get the feeling that people who are looking for causes of depression will look anywhere but at emotional and psychological causes. I wish I knew why. Perhaps it is too complicated and a simpler answer is more attractive.

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    Default Re: New Research Discovers That Depression Is An Allergic Reaction To Inflammation

    I think that abuse is at least part of the problem for some of us; given the ongoing research into epigenetics and inherited trauma, even people who themselves have not been abused or experienced other trauma, may be affected. Perhaps there's an intersection of vulnerable genome and either current or past trauma.

    I've been quite resistant to the idea of abuse being a major factor in my personal experience with depression. I put the two in separate compartments. Over the last two weeks, though, I'm in a situation that has ripped the division open. To keep it as brief as possible, I grew up with an abusive alcoholic stepfather (thought he was my father till I was 16) and an abusive codependent mother. In this family drama, I was the scapegoat and the hero; unfortunately, I never had a script so I never knew which role I was in at any given time! It could flip in a second. I was sexually molested by an uncle when I was 7. Over the years, I've tried to tell my mother about it, and been shouted down or just ignored. Ten days ago, we were talking on the phone and she was determined from the outset of the conversation to get me. I was blamed for my grandmother having favoured me when I was a baby, thus causing inferiority complexes in my sibs. She said nasty things about my son. And so on. Finally she started on an aunt, who admittedly was highly promiscuous, and the way she tried to incite her husband to fight for her favours. This triggered me past all possibility of shutting down. I was there, a little girl, locked in the bathroom with this smelly red-headed man fondling me and trying to make me do oral sex on his nasty dong. I kept my voice down, kept my language controlled, and said that uncle was no saint, he'd molested me, and I'd tried often to tell her. Whoof!!!

    Result: I have been excommunicated by mom, brother, and one sib for being a really wicked liar. Remaining sib bent on convincing me that this, as well as other memories, is false, probably inculcated by a psychiatrist. The first three won't speak to me unless I confess to my evil nature. The other wants me to produce documentary evidence or impartial witnesses to such things as my wisdom teeth extraction and whether or not my son's birth was traumatic...apparently the family has, for years, been huddling and building shared memories that directly contradict mine. Oddly, my mother is being taken as the ultimate authority, despite my sibs having often complained of her rewriting of history and her tendency to wildly embroider or outright lie about things that result in quarrels and longstanding feuds. Where I'm concerned, they take mom as the authority even when she wasn't there, as in was thousands of miles away when the event occurred in my life.

    I was upset for a day after my sister's email demanding proof. I have loved her very dearly. The sense of betrayal was shocking. She may think it makes no difference to her love for me if I'm just a liar or a dupe of false memories, but it has made a very great difference to me! I'm wondering how much of what I told her in confidence has been fodder for the family mills - and the fact that she doesn't consider, even for a second, that I could be telling the truth about anything, has essentially shaken my planet into a new orbit, so to speak. I feel as if I couldn't ever have known her, and everything I thought about her was based on deceit.

    What is really strange is how good I feel! There is an overwhelming sense of relief. I'll never again have to psych myself up to phone my mother on Sunday morning! I'll never again have to sit there, on edge, wondering when the next blow will fall, or which direction it's coming from. Now that I know how the family has been holding me in constant trial, I have no guilt-and-shame driven need to try stay in touch with my brother and other sister, for whom I've had no feeling other than a tepid sense of duty.

    This is getting a bit long, but what it's coming down to is that I don't need my family. They have always called on me to do research, to handle difficult situations, and to provide emergency funds. I note that the $300 I just sent my mother to pay for her gardening service isn't filthy enough from its association with me to be returned! Most of all, though, they need me to be the bad seed that explains the family's dysfunction, and they need my overachievements to prove that the family is functional and good. But as Tricky Dicky once said, they're not going to have me to kick around any longer!

    I doubt that I'll be instantly and permanently cured of depression, but I feel good. I feel free and light. Light both in the sense of poundage and absence of darkness. I've been sleeping well, after the first night. I haven't had my usual Saturday migraine.
    Last edited by Suzanne; 06-14-17 at 11:23 AM.

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    Default Re: New Research Discovers That Depression Is An Allergic Reaction To Inflammation

    Yours is a sad story, Suzanne. I continue to be surprised at how cruel family members (these are blood relations!) can be to one another.
    Julieanne shared a mention of her traumatic childhood. I could tell a similar story; I had the abusive uncle too, Suzanne, and the wicked stepmother.
    Your mention of epigenetics is pertinent and thought-provoking. Given an authoritarian, controlling father, mother who died young, and the stepmother who hated her life and tolerated me, I know virtually nothing about my grandparents or any of my family history on either side. How strange that we all find ourselves together in this thread. I wonder how many other members and guests on this site (there are usually over 100 visitors alone, every time I peer into the front end) could tell the same tale. I/m convinced that depression, like autism, is multi-factorial.

    Thank you for sharing such personal details so candidly. The takeaway, for me, was the relief one experiences after a lifetime of living at the foot of a massive mountain, finally having the courage to scale it, and then... the feeling of exhilaration at the summit. It does indeed sound like an immense burden lifted. I hope the effect lasts!
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    Default Re: New Research Discovers That Depression Is An Allergic Reaction To Inflammation

    Suzanne, I'm glad that the horrible memory actually led to something good. I hope you continue to 'lighten up' and let go of that unnecessary burden of dysfunctional family.

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    Default Re: New Research Discovers That Depression Is An Allergic Reaction To Inflammation

    This is a good overview of inherited trauma: http://tedx.amsterdam/2014/08/trauma-can-inherited/

    There's quite a lot of work being done in this aspect of depressive disorders. https://newrepublic.com/article/1201...sing-ptsd-kids

    The mechanism of trauma inheritance: https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2...e-generations/
    Last edited by Suzanne; 06-15-17 at 08:45 AM.

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    Default Re: New Research Discovers That Depression Is An Allergic Reaction To Inflammation

    Fascinating links. Thanks, Suzanne.
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    Default Re: New Research Discovers That Depression Is An Allergic Reaction To Inflammation

    I'm still feeling good. I had a therapy appointment yesterday, and discussed the situation with my therapist. She asked how I would feel if my mother died and we'd never spoken again. I thought about it and said that I'm okay with that. First, I'm already dead to her. Second, the cost of trying to resurrect myself is too high: she's demanding a confession that I'm a liar, and not just a liar, a wicked liar. That would be an irreparable violation of my self. My gut and my soul both revolt against the notion. Why would I willingly exchange this lightness, cleanliness, and freedom, for the dark and painful morass of reconnection with the mother who slapped, belittled, and bullied me?

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    Default Re: New Research Discovers That Depression Is An Allergic Reaction To Inflammation

    Getting back to inherited trauma: my great grandmother was incarcerated in a British concentration camp during the AngloBoer War. Two of her children died there. My grandmother was born in the camp. So here we have the baby girl whose eggs were exposed in utero to violence, grief, and starvation. When they were released, with 1 month's military rations, they made their way by cattle truck and on foot to their farm. The house and barn had been destroyed, and their livestock slaughtered by the soldiers. My great-grandfather had been sent to a POW camp in St. Helena, along with his father-in-law. Those must have been desperate days.

    My grandmother married a violent alcoholic who died in an institute for the insane after he attacked his family with a butcher knife. They were very poor, often hungry, often cold, ragged and dirty. Another set of traumatic circumstances. Then my mother married first my promiscuous workshy father, and then my abusive alcoholic stepfather. I married first an abusive alcoholic and then an Aspergian.

    I think there's ample material here for a study of intergenerational trauma, depression, and eccentric behaviours!

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    Default Re: New Research Discovers That Depression Is An Allergic Reaction To Inflammation

    Suzanne, in case you don't already have one... you may be the first person I've known who could be her own case study for a doctoral thesis!
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    Default Re: New Research Discovers That Depression Is An Allergic Reaction To Inflammation

    Comparing notes: when my father died I felt nothing but an immense sense of relief. I never recall love for this man, not even as a child. Never.
    Nor could I bring myself to feel love for my stepmother, but with age sometimes comes wisdom, and in her later years she began to understand what she had done to me. At one point she offered to legally adopt me — but at that point I was in my 40s and indifferent. Still, in time there was a reconciliation, and I was with her during her two bouts with cancer... including being the one with her, to see her leave her apartment for the last time, in an ambulance.
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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