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Suicidal Tendencies - Can Your Immune System Influence it?

Ms. Sunita Panday 93% (376 ratings)
M. S. in Psychotherapy and Counselling
Psychologist, Jaipur  •  11 years experience
Suicidal Tendencies - Can Your Immune System Influence it?

Ending one’s life is terrible. But often, instead of analysing the patient’s mental condition at that time, we tend to judge them. The most common cause for suicides is undoubtedly depression. Adverse social or financial conditions often contribute to the mental condition of patients. However, a recent paper published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology might change the way we think about suicides. Lena Brundin and her co-workers have come to the conclusion in the paper titled “Role of inflammation in suicide: from mechanism to treatment,” that our immune system can trigger off suicidal thoughts and tendencies. Let us find out how.

  1. There is proof that certain medicines that are used to treat cancer patients can affect the immune responses. This in turn can trigger off suicidal tendencies.
  2. Certain injuries can lead to brain disorders which are related to inflammatory responses that might be responsible for some changes in behaviour often leading to suicidal thoughts.
  3. Just like certain medications trigger of suicidal thoughts, there are some that might diminish them like Lithium. It is used to treat bi-polar disorder. What it does is decrease immune related chemicals. Another drug has proved to be very effective in reducing suicidal thoughts and tendencies – Ketamine. Ketamine, like Lithium, has been found to block certain chemicals that are related to immune response.
  4. Though the whole topic is still under extensive research, it can perhaps be concluded that certain drugs have the ability to lessen suicidal thoughts and depression because they block some chemicals that are related to immunity.

The suicidal mentality is very complex. It requires not just medicines, but counselling, empathy, love and understanding. Often, many patients cannot come out of their depression, resulting in therapy sessions that are fruitless. In those cases, medicines that might reduce the negative thoughts and moods will come handy. It will help the patient initially to deal with the situation and start with a lot of positivity. Every year, almost one million deaths occur due to suicide. Not only does it leave behind survivors who attempt to kill themselves but also broken families that struggle to get over the death. If this research is successful, several people will benefit from it, all over the world. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Psychologist.

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