BBC Radio4 discussed a study by a Cambridge Professor who is proposing that depression is physical, we need a holistic approach, taking the body, brain and mind as unified. He was alerted to this possibility when suffering a root canal infection and says his brain reacted to the physical condition. The treatment for depression might best be anti-inflammatories rather than anti-depressants.
Years ago, concerned I wasn't recovering from the onslaught of seven deadly tropical diseases, I told my doctor I might be depressed and he laughed. "You are the last person I'd call depressed! What you're suffering is reactive depression, anyone feels this when they suffer long-term ill health because your systems are depressed, not your attitude."
He was quite right and today's discussion is great news for thousands of people classified as depressed. I know several. Disregarding my doctor, I insisted he treat me with anti-de's, not anti-in's and to amuse me, reluctantly he did and here's the result.
lethargy social withdrawal, sorry state of ones life
immune-system affected by depression and vice-versa - interprenalfa reduces braincell death
Prosac made me, a man who'd never thought about it, suicidal. Unable to keep up with friends, I stopped upon a cliff overlooking a river rampaging over rocks and was unexpectedly overcome with depression - my life had come to this, defeated by a shallow hill I would once have run up. I could end this physical and mental torture by leaping, smashing my head, drowning. I stepped forwards to do so but my wife's and our friends' voices carried by a turn in the wind made me look up. In that second I saw what Prosac had nearly made me do. Dr J and I wrote to the company, but they ignored us.
At my continued insistence, Dr J tried another family of anti-i's. Seroxat too did strange things to my brain. I seemed always to be one second behind the moment, for example, when walking up the stairs my legs would lift me to the next step up but my mind stayed one step below; when turning my head, the room shuddered in slow motion as the mind tried to catch up with the reality the brain perceived.
We tried a third set of drugs which made me want to do nothing but hang about like a hippie on dope. Dr J said it sounded like bliss. I couldn't stand the torpor and we concluded I wasn't depressed. Dr J said, "You are akin to a car which has had seven major accidents. How many people almost die, not once, but several times?" The brain was deeply affected by the body but it wasn't classic depression.
Today's news might mean that people who've been treated by those three families of pills which so badly affected me, have been dumbed-down for years? Perhaps all they need is anti-inflammatories to return them to mental normality?