Gut Bacteria’s Role in Anxiety and Depression: It’s Not Just In Your Head

Anyone who’s sprinted to the bathroom moments before a speech or felt a wave of nausea after public humiliation knows the gut and the brain are connected. Photo: Shutterstock

(Elizabeth Svoboda/ Discover Magazine) — Every muscle fiber in Tom Peters’ body seemed to be conspiring to keep him in bed. His depression — an occasional visitor for more than a decade — had reemerged in the summer of 2019, and his legs and arms felt like concrete.

The thought of spending another 12-hour day at his computer filled him with dread. As a technical day trader for stocks, he responded to demanding clients constantly. That felt impossible when his brain kept blaring his past failures at top volume.

Fielding the volley of work messages became a Sisyphean task. “There’s always the overriding fear that I’m not going to come out of it, that I’m always going to feel this way,” Peters says. “That probably is the scariest thing.” (…)

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