From Prozac to Probiotics: Ways of treating depression

A new supplement to fight those blues

Probiotics-may-reduce-anxiety-and-depression-suggests-study_medium_vgaSo there may be something behind that delicious bowl of yogurt you’re eating. As a new study in UCLA mentions,

“Our findings indicate that some of the contents of yogurt may actually change the way our brain responds to the environment”

This study was done by giving probiotic supplements (something found in yogurt) to patients with depression and then putting them in an fMRI machine. For those of you who don’t know, fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is just an MRI for your brain so you can see the function of it during certain tasks that are meant to activate various parts of the brain. Side note: I actually worked on a study using fMRI and I have to say it’s pretty cool technology and is where the field of psychology is headed.

Once in the scanner…

“during an emotional reactivity test involving viewing pictures of angry or frightened faces, the women who had consumed probiotics twice a day for a month showed decreased activity in these regions. This is an indication of reduced anxiety, according to neuropsychiatrist Daniel Amen, MD, a brain imaging specialist who was not involved in the research.

This research is not to suggest that you should go off your antidepressants or that it’s not a useful treatment mechanism for some people, but there may also be other supplements to your traditional treatment. It’s still super important to stay committed to your treatment- not just medical but psychological. Many studies show that several types of therapeutic interventions, including cognitive therapy and behavioral activation, are often more effective than antidepressants alone. So find a therapist that you work well with and take the steps towards your own betterment!

Click here for the rest of the article.

Rubin Khoddam, PhD Clinical Psychology student at University of Southern California, founder of Psych Connection.

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Categories: Articles, Therapy

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  1. Free mental health care: Moving beyond the freeloader mentality – PsychCentral.com (blog) « Depression: Fighting Back

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