New research looks at depression as a symptom of brain inflammation?

eleos counselling blog_brainLast week an article published in New Scientist threw a different light onto the subject of depression. Research carried out by the University of medicine in Germany, suggests that depression could be a reaction to an infection, causing the brain to become inflamed.

Although this study was very small research scientists are excited by the results. It is thought that stress may cause an inflammation which spreads to the brain. Although the brain has its own immune system, the blood-brain barrier, it is thought that some infection can go past this and cause cells in the brain’s very own immune system called microglia to kill off neurons.

What is also interesting is that the researchers speculated that Alzheimer’s disease can be a result of microglia killing off brain cells, due to ongoing infection. Research carried out in the UK at Southampton University suggest that an anti-inflammatory drug called Etanercept, which is normally used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, can help reduce some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s such as poor memory.

One comment made in the article is that categorising depression as a medical problem, rather than a psychological problem, in of itself can cause a stigma for people suffering with depression.

What was not clear from the article is whether depression causes the inflammation or the information causes depression. The article does state that poor diet, obesity, smoking and inactivity can cause an increase in the risk of inflammation. Ironically, a overeating, under exercising, and a bad diet are often some of the things that a depressed person would use to self soothe themselves.

The articled stated that more research needs to be carried out, to make a definite link between depression and inflammation, whether this will result in a new form of treatment for depression, one would have to wait and see.

 

What are young people saying when they are angry?

It would be right to say that most adults have angry feelings, theseangry teenager_Eleos counselling are normal reactions to when things which frustrate us when things go wrong, or people feel an injustice has been done to them. Children, young people express these feelings in different ways.

In a young toddler or young child, frustration and anger are often expressed by having tantrums, when they don’t get what they feel they should or get their own way. They can hit, scream, throw things and often destroy possessions. This is their way of saying they don’t like the emotions or feelings they have, and struggling to express these words. Consequently, their behaviours express their anger and frustration.

In teenagers anger can be expressed by being defiant and refusing to keep house rules. A teenager will often push against boundaries to increase their own independence or sense of self.

Young adults and children can often convey their anger by shouting, refusing to do what they’re told. Furthermore,  Parents often witnessed or objects of aggression when a child starts to hit them or hurt them, often using spiteful words, which cuts to the quick.

Young person or child could have many reasons for express their anger inappropriately, including the following:

  • Struggling to come to terms with hormonal changes during puberty.
  • Divorce or separation in parents.
  • Sibling rivalry or jealousy towards a brother or sister.
  • The feeling of rejection by parents or close family.
  • Witnessing domestic violence.
  • Being accepted into a friendship group or having problems, relationship   difficulties within that group.
  • Feeling powerless through being bullied or hurt.
  • Struggling to cope with schoolwork, academic workload.
  • Having to be a carer will look after parents or relatives.
  • Break-up of  a relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend

Anger is a normal part of being human, but for some children, or young adult’s  anger is often expressed inappropriately.  Parents, grandparents, or adults close to the  young people, young adults, often feel walking on egg shells and will often placate behaviours, rather than deal with them head-on.

At Eleos counselling we are developing an anger management program for young people. Unlike most programs Eleos counselling program is educational and fun for the young person to engage with. This course will be running groups, and rather seeing this as a punishment the young person, see this as an opportunity to find out how to express his or her anger. If you would like to know more, please go is the homepage and from there you will find our contact details, or click the link below and you will be taken to the Eleos counselling website.

Eleos  Counselling Link