Brain Inflamed: Uncovering the Hidden Causes of Anxiety, Depression, and Other Mood Disorders in Adolescents and Teens expands the root-cause approach that Dr. Bock wrote about in his seminal book Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders, which was a game-changer in the understanding of these conditions and how they all relate to each other.
Very few authors have written about the root causes of mood disorders such as:
- OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
- Lyme disease
- ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder)
- Excessive temper tantrums
- Mood swings
- Behavioral regression
Dr. Bock walks the reader through potential root causes of his newly coined term, MDS (Mood Dysregulation Spectrum) such as:
- Immune dysregulation
- Infection-Triggered Autoimmune Brain Inflammation (ITABI), which references the infectious component of PANS/PANDAS
- Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases
- Hashimoto’s and other thyroid disorders (which are often very overlooked in these conditions)
- Adrenal dysfunction
- Low blood sugar
- Hidden sensitivities and intolerances, especially to food
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Metabolic disruptors
His writing style makes it easy for a parent or lay-person to understand how one or more of these root causes could be behind the diagnoses that are so often chalked up to being “in your head” or attributed to common teenage moods and behaviors. Dr. Bock guides parents through potential testing, supplements and dietary changes that address these root causes. He also shows that by doing so, many mood and behavioral symptoms improve significantly.
On the whole, his biggest achievement is showing how these root causes affect the immune system, which in turn affects the way the brain and its accompanying moods and behaviors function. Although this approach is not typical in mainstream psychiatry, more and more cutting-edge doctors – Dr. Bock among them – are pointing the way to show that there are reasons why your child is acting in such a way and that medication doesn’t always have to be the answer.
What’s additionally very helpful in this book are his case studies as well as graphs within most chapters that depict what is within and without of the normal range of teen behavior for:
- Panic attacks
- Severe mood swings