The Inflamed Mind: A Radical New Approach to Depression is a relatively recent book by University of Cambridge professor of psychiatry Edward Bullmore. Featured on CBS “This Morning” and a Sunday Times bestseller, The Inflamed Mind takes advantage of recent advances in science to illustrate a link between depression and inflammation. Given how complicated the interconnected systems are inside of our bodies, scientists have long sought to identify the specific interactions between these systems and what causes them. Thanks to recent discoveries of the mechanisms of inflammation, scientists have been able to link inflammation to a great number of diseases, particularly autoimmune disorders. In The Inflamed Mind, Bullmore postulates over the implications of inflammatory factors for treatments of mental illnesses like depression.
Depression is a very complicated illness and despite incidence rates continuing to increase throughout the world, we still have a lot to learn in terms of identifying its many potential origins and what treatment (or combination of treatments) work best for each individual, considering their subjective backgrounds and biological factors. It can also be difficult for people with depression to effectively open up or communicate their feelings to professionals with whom they don’t have personal relationships, which can complicate the professional’s task of developing the best treatment program for that individual. Supplementing a professional treatment program with personal efforts like reading self-help books can be a useful way of helping people find coping mechanisms that work best for them individually.
Bullmore reveals new information on how depression and inflammation are related in the human body and brain. He explains that understanding mental disorders can help us further understand the immune system. He suggests that future medication can target the cycle of stress, inflammation, and depression.
The Inflamed Mind goes beyond the clinical lab to demonstrate how the mind and body work together to create an individual who can cope in a hostile world.
Bullmore also includes information about the benefits of Western medicine, and how we can use it to improve the fate of many individuals suffering from conditions like depression and other disorders in the future.