Major Depression Causes and Cure

Why Have Depression Diagnoses Risen Ten-Fold In The Past Forty Years?

Major depression, also known as clinical depression, is a diagnosis that has increased tremendously in the past forty years. Admittedly, there is a tendency among modern doctors and psychologists to over-diagnose symptoms of intermittent sadness as major depression because it is so convenient to then pass out prescriptions for highly-promoted pharmaceutical drugs requiring frequent follow-up office visits.

Even assuming some over-diagnosing is going on, it seems safe to say that the major causes of depression have only increased and we should consider them in deciding in our search for non-drug options for treatment of depression.

I recently discovered a book by Stephen Ilardi, PhD, that makes a credible case that the cause of most of this disorder is the fact that our body is not designed for the diet and lifestyle we are living in the 21st Century. Dr. Ilardi, an associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Kansas, points out that our unhealthy diet, insufficient exercise, lack of sleep, lack of sunlight, and a lack of engaging activity in a socially supportive network of human relations are the primary causes of this new psychological epidemic.

We are still, genetically-speaking, Stone-Age humans trying to cope with a 21st Century diet and lifestyle -- and major depression is but one predictable result.

It is very interesting to me that Dr. Ilardi's prescription, which has been very successful in eliminating the symptoms of this disorder among his many patients, is also applicable to "curing" the obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and other of the lifestyle diseases that plague us in the Westernized world.

Meanwhile, the Medical/Pharmaceutical Conglomerate Offers Little Hope for Remission

Let's look at the success rate found among several hundred patients in a landmark study done in 2004: "Among those who took the drugs(Zoloft, Paxil, and Prozac) as prescribed, only 23% were depression-free after six months of treatment," noted Dr. Ilardi. Obviously, those who stopped taking their meds had even worse results.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration requires that an antidepressant needs to outperform a placebo(inert sugar pill) in order to be considered for approval for public use. Nevertheless, researcher Irving Kirsch, obtained the results for every drug company study submitted over a thirteen year period(1987-1999). Among these were test results for six commonly-prescribed antidepressants -- Zoloft, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, and Serzone. In 56% of these studies, he found that "depressed patients taking an antidepressant drug did no better than those who took a placebo".

The placebo effect is well-known to be powerful in producing positive results among those who think they are receiving a real medication. Even so, the side effects of these meds make them of questionable value, except for those with the most serious depression symptoms.

Would It Not Be Better To Improve Our Diet, Lifestyle, and Social Relations?

I occasionally have suffered from intermittent periods of depression. I have never taken myself to a doctor for this problem because I have a good idea I wouldn't like taking the drugs they might prescribe. Over the years, I have developed methods strikingly similar to those Dr. Ilardi recommends to prevent and deal with my depressive episodes.

These methods that help to prevent depression are also invaluable in preventing weight gain, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, cancer, and arthritis, to name only a few. This leads me to believe that Dr. Ilardi is on the right track. Everything he is saying in his book, The Depression Cure, goes along with what I have read elsewhere in my extensive study of how to stay healthy and extend youthfulness as long as possible.

I highly recommend this book for those who, like me, and looking for ways to cure depression without drugs.

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