Depression is a condition people don’t like to talk about. Those who suffer from it think of it as a personal failure, and that isn’t helped by comments people who don’t have it make. Some of the current treatments leave something to be desired. Some aren’t effective enough and others have side effects that make them dangerous. This potential new treatment could solve that problem.
What is depression? Everyone gets sad from time to time. Depression is when that feeling won’t go away. Major depression is when the feelings of worthlessness, grief and overwhelming sadness interfere with all parts life…and the lives of those who care about the depressed person.
What happens in the brain? The emotions we have are to help us cope with the things that happen around us. The part of the brain that handles emotion is called the limbic system. In that system, the amydala processes negative emotions. A depressed person’s brain tends to focus more on the negatives in life than the positive.
How do antidepressants work? The current antidepressants work on neurotransmitters. Serotonin is one of the neurotransmitters, and the drugs increase the amount of this substance so that the nerve cells have the right amount. That is one method of relieving depression, but they do have several side effects.
What is the new drug? It is made from a mushroom. Before I go on, use of this mushroom is illegal in the United States. Studies indicate that this new drug will interfere with the strength of negative emotions and possibly enhance positive emotions.
More studies: This drug is not yet available, because more studies need to be done. The first study was done on healthy brains to see what the reaction would be. The next study will involve people who have some form of depression.
A word of caution: This is not something anyone should experiment with on their own. The reason I have not described the mushroom is because it is illegal and the long term effects of it aren’t known. If you think you suffer from depression, see your doctor immediately. While current methods do have side effects, they do help. Depression is a disease not a failure and it should be treated like any other illness. It should also not be self diagnosed or self treated.