do you have EDS?~

Endorphin Deficiency Syndrome for depression is not proven (then again, neither is the monoamine neurotransmitter theory of depression, and its dismal record of pharmacological efficacy pretty much proves that). Endogenous opioids were only first discovered in the ’70s. Primary studies, direct and indirect, can be found all over the web that support the theory and the evidence seems to be growing stronger; but this concept is still in relative infancy and things are progressing very slowly. There is hope, though. Despite rampant opiophobia and backwardness in the front-line medical community, research involving endogenous opioid/receptor systems is being taken more seriously. Maybe soon EDS will be taken more seriously as well.

A general list of symptoms has been proposed by laymen such as myself and Reardon Metal (who has done a bang-up job getting the word out), and a few professionals and clinicians here and there.

So, keeping in mind the obvious limitations of our theory, here’s a tentative list of symptoms that, coupled with diagnosed depression, may involve a deficiency of endorphins, either in production or because of hyper-reuptake:

~Emotional hypersensitivity

Can light or sound, particularly during a quiet time of the day when you feel tired, induce a kind of sensation of “pain” in your brain? Are you at all introverted? Do you show signs of a “cluster B” personality disorder? …as a child and through puberty, do you think you experienced stronger negative emotions than your peers (fear, irritation, crying etc.), taking into consideration and notwithstanding upbringing/life events?

~A low acute pain threshold

When injured do you think you have a lower tolerance for pain than others? Also, is your tolerance for cold, say for instance, heading out to your car to go to work on a frosty morning unusually hard to bear?

~Low-level chronic pain

Do you contend with general chronic, but seemingly exaggerated, aches and pains? Do you feel, for lack of a better description, a somewhat “brittle” or “stiff” feeling in your body that belies your age?

~A seemingly messed-up immune system

Do you think you catch more colds and flus than others? On the other hand, do you have allergies, perhaps hay fever? Do you have one or two autoimmune disorders?


Have you always been somewhat clumsy and, for example, bad at sports?

~No euphoria after exertion

Have you never felt anything that could be described as euphoric, following exercise or exertion? This is an important point.

Coupled with diagnosed depression, if you can identify with around half of these symptoms, you may want to ponder your situation and consider talking to your doctor with some evidence from the resources section on this blog, and the net. Be sure that the research you give your doctor is legitimate; meaning, not the opinions of some guy with a blog.


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