By November 23, 2015 18 Comments Read More →

The Real Cause of Depression May Have Nothing at All to Do With Your Mind

Depression-1Alex Pietrowski, Staff
Waking Times

Depression is epidemic in our society, and the mainstream solution is a trip to the psychiatrist and an indefinite prescription for pharmaceuticals. Dependent on psychotropic drugs to get by is no way to live, and in the search for happiness, both individuals, doctors and scientists alike are beginning to crack the code of depression, and to question if the pharmacutical solution even works.

George Slavich, a clinical psychologist at the University of California in Los Angeles, has for decades been working to learn more about how our bodies and our minds work, or don’t work, together to regulate the emotional system and mood. His findings have led him to the conclusion that depression is not a condition that is isolated in the mind, and that the body may play a primary role in causing or preventing depression.

“I don’t even talk about it as a psychiatric condition any more. It does involve psychology, but it also involves equal parts of biology and physical health.” –George Slavich

Is Depression All in the Mind?

A simple observation about life has formed the foundation of his conclusions, and that is, ‘everyone feels miserable when they are ill.‘ Labeled ‘sickness behavior,’ the common symptoms of feeling tired, irritable, bored, fed up, and not wanting to move, these symptoms looked a lot like depression to Slavich, who wondered if there might be a common cause for these symptoms for both people who are ill, and for people who are suffering from depression.

“The answer to that seems to be yes, and the best candidate so far is inflammation – a part of the immune system that acts as a burglar alarm to close wounds and call other parts of the immune system into action. A family of proteins called cytokines sets off inflammation in the body, and switches the brain into sickness mode.” [Source]

If this is true, and there is mounting evidence to support his theory, then, treating depression with foods that fight inflammation may very well be far more effective in treating anxiety and depression than expensive addictions to dangerous pharmaceuticals, many of which have been linked to terrible side-effects such as suicide and even psychotic rages that spur violent episodes such as school and public mass shootings.

Flickr - antidepressants - Carsten Schertzer

“Both cytokines and inflammation have been shown to rocket during depressive episodes, and – in people with bipolar – to drop off in periods of remission. Healthy people can also be temporarily put into a depressed, anxious state when given a vaccine that causes a spike in inflammation. Brain imaging studies of people injected with a typhoid vaccine found that this might be down to changes in the parts of the brain that process reward and punishment.

If cytokines and inflammation are seen to rise dramatically during depressive episodes, then it may very well be that this is a crucial piece in understanding these emotional conditions and why the mind simply cannot seize control over thought processes and force itself to feel happy. The next question then becomes, ‘what is causing such serious inflammation in the first place?’

Interestingly, researcher Turhan Canli of Stony Brook University in New York believes that the source of inflammation is related to infections, and he thinks we should consider re-labeling depression as an infectious, although not contagious, disease, instead of a mental disorder.

He may be onto something, but other researchers have pointed out that infection is not the only way for inflammation to set in, and that foods and foods ant toxic environmental agents may play a role.

“A diet rich in trans fats and sugar has been shown to promote inflammation, while a healthy one full of fruit, veg and oily fish helps keep it at bay. Obesity is another risk factor, probably because body fat, particularly around the belly, stores large quantities of cytokines.” [Soure]

To support this theory, several clinical trials have so far found that antidepressants when supplemented with anti-inflammatory medicines both improve symptoms and increases the likelihood that a patient will respond to treatment. Two supplements that show tremendous promise for naturally fighting inflammation are curcurmin, an extract of the potent rhizome turmeric, and omega3 fatty acids, both of which are commonly available over-the-counter.

If this really is the key to unlocking depression, then the best solution, both to prevent it and to fight it if it becomes a health problem, might very well be food instead of antidepressants. This gives individuals much more control over their health, but will the corrupt pharmaceutical industry allow food to be presented as an alternative to their medications?

Read more articles from Alex Pietrowski.

About the Author

Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and Offgrid Outpost, a provider of storable food and emergency kits. Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life.d

Sources are embedded as links throughout article. 

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  • Diana

    Something that is often not taken into account, particularly in light of humanity’s current condition, which cannot be healed by eating better. :/
    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • EmmettGrogan

    Hillary, I think you are exactly right. There is even a psychological diagnosis for being disconnected from Nature, it is Nature Deficit Disorder. One of the symptoms is depression/lack of joy. It is Nature that got me thru my years of depression. Now I live in the woods and am constantly in Nature – no depression!

    • Hilary Kitching

      I didn’t know about ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ thanks. Yes, I can relate to that about nature and depression, Emmett…thanks for sharing your connection too.

  • EmmettGrogan

    You’re study clinical psychology; I was a clinical psychologist for 16 yrs. Both my husband and I have had depression for decades. I don’t know anyone with depression that ever felt that big pharma drugs cured their depression. At best they might give you a bit more energy and keep you from committing suicide but they don’t end the depression, i.e. they don’t work very well and have many side effects.
    I went on a ketogenic diet 2 yrs ago when I got diabetes. The diabetes is now gone and I have had NO depression for 2 yrs. Ketogenic diet helps reduce inflammation. I know a number of people who control their depression with diet and are getting very good results. You will probably tell me anecdotal evidencce doesn’t mean anything and isn’t science. I’m married to a biologist of over 40 yrs and has told me there was a time when science was based on empirical evidence such as eyewitness accounts, observation and experiences. It IS science – when you begin to notice a trend because you’ve seen it happen many times – that is when a scientist notices something and begins their research after formulating a hypothesis to work on.
    Your closed mind benefits no one; you think you know so much but you are just starting out in the field and there is so much more for you to learn. Keeping an open mind is an imperative in science; since you don’t have an open mind, aren’t a scientist and believe everything you learn in school, you aren’t qualified to make such authoritative statements, which BTW, shows you either didn’t read the whole article or didn’t understand it because many, if not most, of your statements are in direct conflict with the info in the article as reported by scientific researchers,

  • Veri Tas

    Hi Brian,
    I appreciate your explanation of how you would assess the presentation of mental or emotional turmoil in a person.
    Have you considered delving into the causes of such presentations?
    Why is it that some people are able to cope with similar situations that others cannot?
    There have been trials undertaken with prisoner populations to see whether nutritional supplementation, for example, may ameliorate the expression of mood imbalances – the results were that they indeed did.
    Just a thought….

  • Ronnie

    Hmm…very interesting. Thanks, Hilary.

    • Hilary Kitching

      You’re welcome Ronnie, thanks for reading.

  • mothman777

    What about the 4th dimensional aspect? I am sure that telepathic or other psychic phenomena exert a truly vast effect on how we feel, like sensing a ‘vibe’ from people.

    Even acupuncture altering the flow of chi can radically change mental function and mood. The soul is not a physical thing, and that is what is conscious, though the soul may sense a state of disease in the subtle or gross physical body surrounding it. The soul sits suspended in a constant stream of chi within the subtle body that exists in and around the gross physical body.

    You can feel great just from eating foods rich in chi, or from sunbathing or grounding and receiving massive influxes of chi that way.

    The food angle in the article is good, Vitamins dramatically alter how we feel, like Vitamin C and Vitamin D3.

    Having a positive intent towards others engages you in a higher. more sattvic dynamic, and massively affects how you feel.

  • Antonietta Francini

    Hormonal imbalance is certainly involved in serious depression ….but there are no deep studies and research about this interaction….!

  • Anna Ruyssenaars

    This devious article is merely regurgitated controlled opposition waffle-on vomit written by a trained bamboozler on behalf of the fascistic Zionist Red Capitalist United Nations World Revolutionist Ministry of All Out War On The Defenseless Human Race.

  • J James

    Why must we feel the need to be so singular in approaching depression? There may be a conglomeration of conditions that manifest as depression. Everyone’s life experiences are different so there may very be an infinite number of sources. And really, what is “depression?” It seems to be a blanket term for feelings of unworthiness, dejection and beliefs that there is “something wrong with me,” among perhaps an endless list of others. More importantly though, are these feelings and beliefs the result of biology or do they themselves influence biology? Still, do they go hand-in-hand and are inseparable? The bottom line is that there is inner disharmony that must be approached holistically from physical, emotional and mental angles and never from just one or two of the three.

  • Richard Thomas Murray

    Unfresh fruit juices are also give methanol (wood alcohol), as does aspartame, wood and cigarette smoke, dark wines and liquors, and unfresh wet fruits and vegetables in sealed cans and jars kept at room temperature — only in humans, does the ADH1 enzyme make methanol into formaldehyde right inside the cells of 20 tissues, causing random spots of inflammation, including the inner walls of blood vessels in the brain and many tissues.

    Two peer-reviewed studies in 2015 in mainstream medical research journals support the new paradigm of chronic methanol toxicity in humans — Prof. WC Monte gives a free archive of 782 full text studies at WhileScienceSleeps dot com…

  • Kallol Paul

    Famous Doctors, Psychiatrists, Spies, Stars may get depressed in proving Healthy people, terminally ill..!! Rest all may enjoy..:) It closes the depression cycle rt..?

    Open up to newer things it will stabilize you make wiser..!

  • Savanna R Benedict

    80-90% of serotonin is produced in the gut; the food we are provided with is mostly garbage so therefore an unhealthy gut=unhealthy mind. Just a thought

    • BDBinc

      I agree about eh importance of gut health ( not a pesticide damaged digestive process).

      There is not test for serotonin levels to diagnose ‘depression” .There is no evidence supporting low serotonin = depression.

      You become what you think, stress=dis ease.

    • Veri Tas

      “Depression” can also derange the gut microbiome…. Life can only be explained in a circular fashion; it’s not linear.

  • Veri Tas

    There’s another important aspect of ‘depression’ not yet addressed by the orthodox medical paradigm: The fact that sound mental health is equated with being ‘well-adjusted’ – which can never lead to happiness due to the cognitive dissonance that comes with being well-adjusted. It’s as if some outside force has fiddled with your emotional and spiritual buttons until they’ve got it just right…

    This ‘well-adjusted’ notion serves society as a way to obtain obedience and functionality from its human slaves.

    The real questions of why depression and suicide rates have risen so drastically are not being asked. Does depression really just come down the to the ‘mal-adjusted’ individual or is it caused by the increasingly fascist social fabric woven around us?

  • BDBinc

    Only suffering does have something to do with the mind as emotions are the body’s reaction to your thoughts.

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