The evolutionary advantage to depression (and sickness behavior) | Charles Raison

Parent Episode: Dr. Charles Raison on Depression, the Immune-Brain Interface & Whole-Body Hyperthermia

Some scientists theorize that depression in humans may have evolved along with sickness. Sickness and depression share several symptoms in common, such as hyperthermia (elevations in body temperature). Physiological changes that occur during an illness, such as fever and ramping up of the immune system, are designed to be protective against pathogens. Dr. Raison asserts that in ancient times, physical trauma injuries were more apt to be lethal than in modern times. He hypothesizes that stress makes one more prone to suffer an injury and thus the immune system gets stimulated during times of stress. In this clip, Dr. Charles Raison describes how the body has evolved to employ some of the same physiological mechanisms in depression and physical illnesses.

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