Unfortunately, many of these studies have Baby Cow Moo Moo Moo Moo Moo Moo Shirt tended to be small, with only a handful of participants, and their results have been mixed: in some studies, the interventions successfully reduced symptoms; in other trials, they proved to be no better than a placebo treatment. When we feel low, it can be easy to overlook the things that are going right and keeping this journal brings them to the forefront of your attention.
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One explanation, Foster says, is that the failed studies have not targeted the patients who would benefit most from this kind of treatment. There are many causes of depression, after all, and while disruptions to the gut flora may be the underlying cause of some people’s depression or anxiety, in others the trigger could be quite different. For them, a probiotic drink is unlikely to make a big difference to their symptoms.
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To further complicate matters, each person’s microbiome is unique – so any treatment that targets the gut flora should take account of those differences. Overall, the exact composition between any two individuals only overlaps by around 10%. For this reason, she thinks we need to find more sophisticated ways of matching the treatment to the patient. “This is where the gut-brain axis is going to help us, in precision medicine.”
Mann stresses that the benefits do not just come from the immediate lift as you write the entries; re-reading your previous entries can help you cope with difficult situations in the future too. Thanks to our ‘associative’ memory, a dark mood caused by one bad event may lead you to preferentially remember other sources of stress and unhappiness. Whenever that happens, leafing through the pages of your journal may Baby Cow Moo Moo Moo Moo Moo Moo Shirt help you to break out of that ruminative spiral.