Printer Friendly');">Email This Article to a Friend

~Thoughts for Thinking People~
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape


      (Dr. W.) 'Tis the season to be down. Decreased sunlight, being stuck indoors during the winter months, plus unhealthy lifestyles and eating habits all combine to create a perfect formula for depression – and about any other physical or psychological malady. Depression sends about 25 million people running to the doctor each year, and 90% of these visits result in medications even though about half of these prescriptions are no more effective than placebo sugar pills. (Int J Neuropsychopharmacol, 2002; 5(3):193-7.)

      What follows is not to minimize the seriousness of depression. It can ruin life. It can also end it. About two thirds of all suicides are related to it. The pain a person must feel to get to the point of suicide must be immense – so immense that most of us cannot even imagine it.

      But when we think of pain – the pain of a heart attack, arthritis, cancer or depression – we should think about causes and prevention, not band aides. That's the intelligent and humane approach, but it is virtually ignored by the medical establishment.

      Here are some things to do for depression. The effects are not immediate, but they will surely help, will likely be far more effective than counseling or drugs, and are cheap and safe.

      First off, make sure you are eating properly and taking nutritional supplements. (1-3) See the Optimal Heath Program™ for good advice there. Your brain requires fuel, and lots of it. If you pump water into your car's gas tank, don't expect it to run properly. Ditto for fuel for your brain.

      Get outside every day if you can. Take a vigorous walk. If there is snow, cross-country ski or snow shoe. Breath the fresh air and let the sun's rays, even if dulled by the clouds, hit your eyes. We belong in the sun just like plants do. If we cloister ourselves in plastic caves under artificial light, we will suffer just as plants do when so deprived.
If you visit the South during the winter and notice a significant lift in mood, consider spending more time there or moving toward the sun, if your circumstances permit.

      For those doomed to the inside for the winter, convert your light bulbs to full spectrum, and consider obtaining a phototherapy lighting unit. (4)

      Engage in regular exercise. Do it like you mean it. Work up a sweat and get a muscle pump. The endorphins released from this will give an immediate boost. If you join a gym, the social interaction will also lift your spirits. Join a team for any sport and try to get good at it. Study and train. Teach others.

      Get out of hopeless situations. If you feel you have no control, if you feel you are a victim, put all your energy into figuring a way out. Until you do, depression will abound. Don't acquiesce, don't resign, don't play victim and don't give up. Change things. Fix it. If you can't, get help. Gaining control of your life is absolutely essential to health of mind and body.
Spend more time with your pet, or get an additional one if you can. They are excellent mood therapy and can literally save lives. The ancient Greeks believed in the healing powers of dogs and used them as co-therapists. Asklepios, the principal healing god of the Greeks, exerted his healing power through dogs.

      Using pets in nursing homes, hospices, hospitals and for withdrawn or chronically ill children has proven to be effective where often nothing else works. Pets give the unconditional love we all desire and serve as wonderful social lubricants. For these reasons, there are over 2000 programs in the U.S. alone using pets as therapy ("P.A.T.," as it is called).
Make your work challenging and interesting. Yes, you. Don't wait for the job description or the boss. If there is no such opportunity where you work, find another job or start your own business. But there are few jobs that could not take creative input. Do it. Don't wait for a raise, don't wait for prodding; just get after it. Creative work is essential to a good life and a feeling of worth. It is not something you carefully measure in terms of dollars returned; its reward is in the pride, fulfillment, and sense of accomplishment and worth it brings – the most powerful of all antidepressants. Don't take on the employee mentality of measuring output to be sure it does not exceed your pay scale. Don't be a 9-5er. The more you dig into your work and think about increased efficiency or improvements of any sort, the more it will be like a hobby. That is what everyone's work should be. Take work home with you. Bring things to completion speedily. Think about ways to improve. Learn on your own how to get better at your job. Treat your job as if it were your own business. As for money, there are few business owners who will not reward sincere effort if the resources are there, but don't do it for that reason.
Increasingly, as the world becomes the economy, cushy nonperformance jobs will be a thing of the past. American glut will be leveled as vast third-world populations working 12-16 hours per day for a few dollars compete. American employers will be more and more selective. So avoid yet another reason for depression – joblessness – by making yourself extra useful and productive right now.

      If you are home-bound you can still be creative. Refurbishing, decorating, cleaning, organizing or starting a home business can all be challenging. Or, get engaged with organizations that are trying to make a better world...or spend more time with the kids with their homework...or mentor or adopt a child.

      And finally, to sum it all up, just do it. Note that in every one of the suggestions above, you are required to do something. Solutions do not come by others doing it to or for you. Take control. Make things happen. Start today. Be the best you can be and depression will be at most only an occasional fleeting annoyance because you are too busy doing life to have time for such nonsense.

      For product recommendations relevant to the above (numbered footnotes),
news, coupons, samples, testimonials, and other crass commercial stuff
to feed the kids and keep us afloat.

      For a complete listing of back archived issues of the Wysong e-Health Letter, click here (or go to, click on "Newsletter" and select "Archives").

*To obtain the listed reading materials, please click on the item of interest, or write to, or visit, click on "Newsletter" and select "Archives."

Best of health to you and yours from all of us here at Wysong.

The Wysong e-Health Letter is an educational newsletter. Opinions expressed are meant to be taken for their argumentative/intellectual interest value, and not interpreted as specific medical or legal direction for individual conditions or situations. The e-Health Letter does not represent all-inclusive knowledge, nor can it affirm or deny facts or data gathered from cited references. Before initiating any health action or changing existing therapies, individuals should read the references cited in the e-Health Letter or request them from Wysong Corporation (, and seek and evaluate several alternative, competent viewpoints. The reader (not the Wysong e-Health Letter) must assume all responsibilities from the application of educational and often controversial information presented in the e-Health Letter.

© Copyright 2003, Wysong Corporation. This newsletter is for educational purposes. Material may be copied and transmitted provided the source (Dr. Wysong's e-Health Letter, is clearly credited, context is clearly described, its use is not for profit in any way, and mention is made of the availability of the free Wysong e-Health Letter. For any other use, written permission is required.