Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mental Physicality

"Depression can no longer be described as strictly a disorder of the brain, but rather, must be understood as a series of biological changes that span the brain, genes and body."
Dr. Carmine Pariante, King's College, United Kingdom

"We all know that diabetes is a chronic common metabolic disorder with very unfavourable outcomes for many people."
"It turns out that if you have depression and you're diabetic, you have a much less favourable outcome from diabetes."
"Depression and diabetes are two companions that often march in the same direction. It's happening for biological reasons and it's a combustible mix."
"Depression doesn't last a day or two. It lasts weeks, months, or years."
"An Olympic athlete, someone who doesn't smoke, who's not obese and not living an unhealthy lifestyle, just by virtue of having this illness -- depression -- is more likely to develop diabetes."
Dr. Roger McIntyre, head, Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit, University Health Network, Toronto

Just as there are proven to be links between depression and diabetes, there are also links between depression and cancer, arthritis and other disease all of which are under study requiring additional understanding to enable medical science to find ways to stem the tide of co-morbid conditions. Depression, according to Bill Wilkerson, Mental Health International Executive Chairman, is a disorder with a physical origin and properties in the brain along with physical effects on the heart and respiratory system as well as impacting on brain performance.

Business Services: Ottawa Events - Mental Health International
The matrix demonstrates the vast reach of depression through its influence on the course of a wide range of common and serious chronic disorders. For additional information, contact Designed by Mental Health International

Depression is capable of increasing the risk of fatal heart attacks. It does this by making the heart work harder while decreasing heart rate variability. It also impacts on the body through hormonal alterations leading to an endocrine illness or immune disorder. Depression affects metabolism, the cardiovascular system, pancreas, bones, joints, muscles, blood and immune system. That mental state has outcomes that are not isolated to mood, but clearly have a deleterious impression on the body's core functions.

Dr. Roger McIntyre stresses the influence that depression has on how other chronic disorders evolve through the biological link between depression and chronic illnesses. Chronic disorders are now recognized as the leading public health challenge to medical science and society. Studies clearly indicate abnormalities in the hormonal systems of people with depression. Metabolism, in other words, becomes improperly regulated, the abnormalities causing blood to thicken which in turn makes the heart work harder, straining the entire cardiovascular system.

Depression is linked clinically to both cardiovascular disease and diabetes. And since those living with diabetes have a very high risk of dying of the results of cardiovascular illness, the circuitous nature of the connection presents a challenge to health scientists. Depression then, while leading to poor health outcomes also has the capacity to kill through those same deteriorating health outcomes. According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, mental disorders reduce life expectancy by 25 years.

The goal in improving the care and treatment of depression, according to Mental Health International's executive chairman is to:
  • Save lives lost to heart disease and stroke;
  • Prevent worse outcomes for those who live with diabetes;
  • Prevent worsening the prognosis of some cancers;
  • Help counter obesity, which also threatens life expectancy gains made in the past 35 years.

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