THE WYSONG e-HEALTH LETTER
~Thoughts for Thinking People~
CURE YOUR OWN
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,
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
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
(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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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),
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to feed the kids and keep us afloat.
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Best of health to you and yours from all of us here at Wysong.
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