Depression, Anxiety, and other mental disorders have reached epidemic proportions.
In the U.S., the national rate of Anxiety in 2019 tripled from 8.1% to 25.5%, and depression almost quadrupled from 6.5% to 24.3%.
What is going on?
The present paradigm of treating these mental disorders is balancing the neurotransmitters through pharmaceutical agents like SSRIs (Zoloft, Lexapro, Prozac, etc.) and Benzodiazepines (Ativan, Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin.
Unfortunately, it may just be possible that the neurotransmitter paradigm is antiquated and does not address the underlying root cause (s) of these mental disorders.
After reading and researching, and doing a deep dive into the possible root causes of these mental disorders, I found something unique and life-changing!
While nutrient deficiencies play a role, the major eye-opener was that depression, Anxiety, and other mental disorders are mainly inflammatory.
In the brain of people suffering from depression, anxiety, and many other mental health challenges, the immune system is activated with evidence of elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin six and tumor necrosis factor-alpha.
Like rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease represent inflammation in the joints and gut, respectively, psychiatric disorders are linked to inflammation in the brain.
If we hope to gain any control over these mental issues, we must address quenching the brain’s inflammation.
Now here is what I found pretty shocking.
Benzodiazepines and SSRIs have another mechanism of function most people are not aware of.
Guess what it is?
They both have anti-inflammatory properties.
Yes, that is correct.
Is it possible that these psychiatric medications have little to do with balancing neurotransmitters and more to do with reducing the inflammation in the brain?
The medical literature tends to support this theory.
One need not look any further than the gut to control this inflammation.
Once the gut inflammation takes hold, cytokines circulate throughout the body, including the brain.
The secret to reducing gastrointestinal inflammation is identifying food irritants and bacterial pathogens and improving optimal microbial flora. Some studies have found that the probiotic, Lactobacillus (L.) rhamnosus has some promise in reducing Anxiety and improving microbial flora.
Overall, a picture of the gut microbiome playing a facilitating role between stress response, inflammation, depression, and Anxiety is emerging and should be considered with anyone suffering from anxiety, depression, and, in that case, any mental disorder.
As a final observation, there holds some promise that the natural product, KappArest from Biotics Research, has been found to down-regulate interleukin six and tumor necrosis factor-alpha reducing inflammation.
This new and emerging treatment for Anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric disorders is complex but promising!
Although a 180-degree approach to the neurotransmitter deficiency theory is worth considering and even embracing.