When it comes to mental health problems like depression and anxiety, the chances of successful treatment are slim. Statistics reveal that up to 40% of depression patients don't respond to treatment, while just over 50% report only a partial response to therapy.
These dismal figures make us ask ourselves, “Could it be that we're thinking about - and therefore treating - mental health problems in the wrong way?” A growing body of research says yes. This research suggests that mental health problems like depression and anxiety might not be mental disorders in and of themselves, but rather symptoms of inflammation stemming from the brain.
In thinking about mental health problems as symptoms, we're afforded new insights into possible root causes plus alternative treatments. Read on for eight causes of mental health problems that are often overlooked.
Eight causes of mental health problems to consider
#1: Sleep apnea
A 2003 study found that one in five people with depression
also suffer from a breathing-related sleep
disorder like sleep
apnea, which is a result of the brain forgetting to tell the body to breathe.
#2: Gluten intolerance and celiac disease
Research shows that gluten intolerance and celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder triggered by the body’s negative reaction to gluten, may present with depression
as the only symptoms.
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#3: Thyroid disease
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Both hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid) and hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety
#4: Toxic mould exposure
Exposure to toxic indoor moulds can result in numerous symptoms, including depression, difficulty concentrating, ADHD and neurologic issues.
Beta-blockers, a type of medication used to treat high blood pressure
, are known to cause depression. Other medications, such as birth control pills, acne-fighting Accutane and statins also list depression as a potential side effect.
Sorry, coffee lovers – a couple of studies have found a link between coffee consumption and increased risk of depression and anxiety!
#7: Junk food and baked goods
A 2011 study found that people who ate a diet high in fast food and baked goods were 51% more likely to develop depression.
#8: Lyme disease
In 1994, the link between Lyme disease and neuropsychiatric disease was first established. Since then, the connection has become overlooked.
If you’re experiencing mental health
problems, consider these eight possible causes.
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