Last week I came down with strep throat! – first time since I was a kid, lo these many years ago. (They finally removed my tonsils after I had it about a zillion times.)
A few days later, I had a really gargantuan anxiety attack commingled with a crippling daylong depression. I get anxiety attacks every couple of years, but nothing like that one; and nihilistic bleak depression is pretty much antithetical to my nature. I was perplexed as hell until someone told me about the (causal?) connection between immunological crises and resultant adverse mood states. My Google-fu turned up only some vague overview of this topic, and a lot of stuff about the reverse, i.e., how your mood affects your immune system.
I want to understand how this works specifically. I am extrapolating something like depression=seratonin depletion; seratonin is depleted because… perhaps it’s dismantled by the immune system to assemble something else? Or is there such thing as a seratonin reuptake enhancer that is produced for some reason? Are tryptamines a basic building block that can be chemically recombined by the body into many other things we need, or are they a fairly complicated specialty item that is more or less irreducible? (I hope I am making sense here.)
Also, is it possible (theoretically, of course) that such a situation with the immune system would modulate the effect of other tryptamines added from outside the system, such that their function or effect might be nullified?
(Like, for instance, sumatriptan wouldn’t work for a migraine. Or the only thing you got from toad-licking was a lot of warty stalkers.)
To further complicate things, I have long suspected for various reasons that my body produces a higher quantity of melatonin than is average. Could that account in part for my optimistic default mood state? Is melatonin also depleted by a stressed immune system? (assuming otherwise optimum conditions for melatonin production, i.e., I sleep in a dark and quiet room and have healthy REM cycles)
I hope these aren’t really goofy questions! Thanks for sharing your insight with me.