After a day or two, you begin to feel somewhat helpless, wondering if you'll ever get well and feel back to normal.
Interestingly enough, this is a lot like what someone with depression experiences. Scientists are beginning to believe that it is no coincidence that physical illness and mental illness share many of the same traits.
A number of new research studies focused on mental illnesses from bipolar disorder to schizophrenia and depression have suggested that there is a closer link between physical illness and mental illness than has been previously realized. This also suggests that activating the immune system may play a role in treating both.
Andrew Miller, professor of psychiatry at Emory University, told USA Today that these studies show that an overactive immune system or any other immune disorders may have consequences for the brain.
Immune responses such as inflammation, for example, may explain why certain mental disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's can affect mood, and why many people who are hospitalized with schizophrenia have a urinary tract infection when they are admitted. Children with autism are also more likely to be born to mothers with autoimmune disorders such as lupus.
One study shown at the Society for Neuroscience annual convention showed that people who experience more inflammation are more likely to suffer from depression than those whose immune systems are healthy.
In fact, the changes in the immune system came before the emotional ones did. Researchers believe that this proves mental illness is more than just a disorder of emotional and cognitive functioning; it may have physical implications as well.
These results allow neuroscientists to expand their thinking when searching for possible treatments and causes for mood disorders, mental illness, and neurodevelopmental conditions (such as autism). This may also help scientists understand why mental health treatments don't always work. New treatments targeting the immune system and its responses may prove helpful in these cases.
Beware of false immune system 'treatments'
Unfortunately, this could include taking antibiotics for acute psychotic symptoms in addition to anti-psychotics, or anti-inflammatory medications in cases where it is thought to be applicable.
If Western medicine understood how to boost the immune system naturally, then these findings would be more helpful. Most likely, if doctors ever accept the mental health/immune system relationship, they will continue to bog the mind and body down with toxic solutions that feed the pharmaceutical money machine and only create more health issues in the end.
For natural health enthusiasts, however, these findings represent yet another reason to keep your immune system sharp - organically.
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About the author: Mike Bundrant is author of the book, Achilles Eel, Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage
Watch the free video Process: An End to Self-Sabotage and discover the lost keys to personal transformation and emotional well-being that have been suppressed by mainstream mental health for decades.