The World Health Organization says that worldwide, more than 300 million people are suffering from clinical depression. In the United States, the problem affects more people per capita than the rest of the world, and more than any other western nation.
It’s worth noting that there are two kinds of depression, and there really isn’t much of a comparison between them. Clinical depression is the more serious of the two. With clinical depression, the sufferer is physically depleted of the neurochemicals necessary to have energy and motivation sufficient to live a normal life. Clinical depression can be seriously debilitating.
Then there is a condition that might better be described as affective depression. Affective depression is a kind of paranoia. It is an attitude, an outlook, and a style of thinking that sends the person effected down a rabbit hole of negative thoughts. Affective depression can be treated with cognitive therapy, or a weekend on Miami’s south beach.
“People who have stressors that make them feel hopeless and helpless are more likely to be depressed,” says Carole Lieberman, MD, a psychiatrist, author, and member of the clinical faculty at the University of California at Los Angeles Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. “However, there are many different types of depression, from the garden-variety sad mood to major psychotic depression.”
Clinical depression is serious, and can feel like trying to keep up with traffic with four flat tires. Affective depression sounds a bit like a joke, but the consequences can be dire- especially for teenagers who do not have the mental fortitude to handle the whirlwind of emotions we all sometimes experience.
Rates of depression have been on the rise in the US between the early 90s and now with a per decade increase of about 3.5 percent. This increase in depression has run commensurate with the decrease in violent crime, which kind of sours the latter when you think about it.
To address the uptick in the rates of depression, the psychiatric community has offered us some of the worst drugs the human family has ever seen, Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRI). By inhibiting the re-uptake of serotonin, the theory is that we can keep more of our brain’s natural reward substance in the receptor longer with the idea of prolonging the feeling of being rewarded by positive behaviors.
But this has been a terrible mistake. It’s like saying you can eat your pizza twice. Yeah. Nasty. SSRI drugs have a direct connection to almost every single mass murder in the US over the last 20 years. It also has a shockingly high correlation to suicide and self-harm. People who take these drugs report feeling unattached from the world- disconnected from the people they used to love and the things they used to enjoy. The stats are clear. These drugs are dangerous.
Fortunately, there are better solutions. One of the best solutions for depression is regular exercise. Research shows that those who engage in regular exercise have equal to better results than the best case uses of SSRI drugs- and with precisely 0 of the side effects that come with SSRIs. We’ve talked about the anti-depressant effects of exercise before. It’s a settled issue. The trouble is motivation, depressed people don’t have it- that’s why we recommend forced fitness camps for chronic whiners and ne’er-do- wells. Just kidding.
But new research shows that changing your diet can also have a curative effect on depression. This is especially true for clinical depression, but it also helps with affective depression.
The study followed 67 participants with some form of depression diagnosis. It was composed of a 12-week program during which time they were only encouraged to change their diets. The guidelines they were given were as follows:
- Whole grains (5 to eight servings per day)
- Vegetables (6 servings per day)
- Fruit (3 servings per day)
- Legumes (3 to four servings per week)
- Low-fat, unsweetened dairy (2 to 3 servings per day)
- Raw and unsalted nuts (1 serving per day)
- Fish (at least 2 servings per week)
- Lean red meats (3 to four per week)
- Chicken (2 to 3 per week)
- Eggs (up to 6 per week)
- Olive Oil (3 tablespoons per day)
They were also directed to avoid refined sweets, fried foods, fast food, sugary drinks and alcohol, and processed food.
No one is surprised by this. The real trick to preventing/curing depression with food is to avoid the temptation to excuse bad food as normal. It isn’t.
~ Health Scams Exposed