Depression Solutions… Can You Help?

With the recent studies showing antidepressants to be far less effective than previously reported, this leaves a big gap in the field.

What can take the place of antidepressants?

What solutions are already out there for depression?

What books, courses, websites, resources of any type are there for “curing” people who have been given the label “Depression”?

I’d like to know of ones you think work, and any you don’t think work as well, with enough details for me to find the resource, and what thoughts you have about it.

Yes. Self promotion is allowed. If you’ve got something good enough then great!

It will be interesting to know whether there is anything that might fill the therapeutic vacuum.

You can put your thoughts as a comment below.

Much appreciated.

-Dr Martin Russell

8 thoughts on “Depression Solutions… Can You Help?”

  1. Thanks for the suggestion Miami.

    It’s a balance as to whether to think of this as “normal” people who need self-improvement, or people with “Depression” who need “treatment”.

    I’ll take both types of suggestions.

  2. Paul Maurice Martin says:

    Personally, I feel that the spiritual dimension of depression doesn’t receive enough attention. Depression often isn’t just about one’s own life but over life as a whole.

  3. I believe light therapy has helped me with “seasonal affective disorder (SAD)”. I maintained a health journal for several years when I was in my 40s and noticed that I not only was a little blue around the time of my period, but I was much worse in the winter. I didn’t buy the expensive boxes suggested for SAD with full-spectrum light; I bought a chroma 50 tube from GE. I hung it on the wall behind my computer where I sit for many hours most days. It’s on a timer during normal daylight hours & has lasted for years. I used to only use it Oct. – April, but I’m using it all year now. (I’m also taking high doses of vitamin D since it doesn’t do anything for that as sun does & when I go out in the sun I use UV protection which diminishes vitamin D.) This site says that vitamin D helps with depression also (though they admit that further research is needed): http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/depression.shtml

    I get depressed when I’m under a high amount of stress, too, and know I’d probably feel better if I had a regular exercise regime. Other generally healthy things can help, too, like drinking a sufficient amount of water – dehydration can cause all kinds of mental and physical problems. You probably have pamphlets about dealing with stress that include those things, though, right?

  4. Paul,

    Excellent point. I suppose I think more in terms of “existential” rather than “spiritual”, but the meaning of life / big picture questions are too often lost.

    Joyce,

    Vitamin D is an entire complex topic on it’s own, including the theory of infections inducing low Vitamin D artificially.

    Thanks for mentioning SAD and light therapy. A nice theory and usually an easily solvable one – once you have done the homework you obviously did. Well done.

    Your comments about “stress” and water, exercise etc also bring up the question of whether “depression” is a distinct disorder or simply an accumulation of more obvious problems.

  5. There are obviously a whole range of types of depression. I was looking for something like this: http://www.natures-remedies.co.nz/fastpage/fpengine.php/templateid/82/menuid/4/tempidx/58
    which I totally believe works (smile your troubles away, so to speak) when it’s totally about your mood and not chemical, when I found something called “smiling depression” which is when people hide serious depression, that might even be suicidal, behind a smile. My mother is bipolar and that’s not a depression you can smile away.

  6. I think all of the above offer valuable tools for combating depression.

    A point I would add is that person-to-person interaction is also valuable for dealing with depression. The problem here is expense. Analysis and counseling are never available through state funded health services (The NHS defines “psychotherapy” as exclusively medication) and very expensive privately.

    I wonder, however, how much knowledge of psychology is truly required in order to provide effective counseling? Is it something a friend or family member could provide with the right educational resources?

    Perhaps one of the most valuable tools would be education. Include this in the school and college curriculum (as is First Aid) as a standard Life Tool and people would be far better equipped to deal with what is a very common condition of our time. Or would this pose too much of a threat to the pharmaceutical industry?

  7. I’m in the U.S. (no NHS) and the people who are lucky enough to have insurance often do have some psychology coverage, though the co-pay is generally higher and it’s limited. Still it’s a good point. We have lots of people with no insurance & psychological care is expensive enough that if they can’t afford insurance or they’re working for a company that doesn’t offer it, they probably won’t pay out of pocket unless they’re self-employed & very successful (we just had a case of a former Homeland Security official go to jail due to his temper for “involuntary manslaughter” – I’ll bet no one suggested mental health care to him).

    School-age education certainly isn’t a very complete answer – “stress” may already be briefly covered in Health class. I know they cover diet and exercise and we see how well that works with obesity being such a problem now. Corporate power at work with McDonald’s and other fast food, sweet breakfast cereals, and advertising to children. Maybe they are in cahoots with the pharmaceutical industry.

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