Serotonin: Hi all, this is my first post. I... - Meningitis Now

Meningitis Now

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Hi all, this is my first post.

I haven’t had meningitis myself but am very close to someone who has therefore I’m now always wanting to know as much as I can about it to be able to offer as much support as possible.

My question is; can serotonin be lost from having viral meningitis? A long shot question I know. Perhaps as a result of having a lumbar puncture? As I’ve read that serotonin is mainly located in the bowel region & brain?

I’m just trying to piece a puzzle together whether post meningitis depression could be linked to this?

Apologies if it’s a silly question but I guess a silly question is the one you never ask..

Thanks in advance and any feedback is much appreciated.


2 Replies

Hi Herb. Post meningitis depression is much more easily explainable if you understand that the way a person feels after meningitis is really pretty depressing. (See elsewhere in this forum for details of how people feel after meningitis.)

As for serotonin, there is no mechanism by which meningitis, or a lumbar puncture, could impact the body’s supply. Sorry I can’t elaborate but I’m really knackered. Maybe someone else could better explain why that couldn’t happen.

This is NOT to say that, if the depression is bad enough, an antidepressant of some sort would not help whilst the patient engages with, say, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or some such. I just doubt that an SSRI would be selected as the appropriate type of antidepressant.

Personally I think that a certain amount of depression is a normal and reasonable reaction to the insult that meningitis causes us. Depression causes a slowing down, a sleepiness, a withdrawal and a heightened need for self-care - which is appropriate in the early aftermath of meningitis. Associated anxiety is also to be expected, given the insecurity that such a sudden change in circumstances brings about. Medication may be needed, but I wouldn’t hurry down that road. Time and care are generally sufficient healers.

Take good care of your friend, Herb, but don’t overthink it.


VMroom in reply to Gnugoo

Well said. VM changes your life, your brain has been injured so doesn't function as it did before. It's an invisible disability that is so frustrating because non sufferers don't understand no matter how much you explain, that in itself takes everything out of you. Little wonder depression is a common side effect.

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