The Power of Rest

Why sleep alone is not enough–and how to reset your body

Getting Undepressed, Without Pills

With 30% of Americans getting depressed in their lifetimes and economic hard times, people need to do much themselves to get undepressed - and stay that way. Read More

The Tin Man

When Bipolar's emerge from an episodic/psychotic Depression, they think they're normal. Of course they're not.

If the mentally ill don't abuse alcohol or drugs, a favorable medicinal outcome is very high.

To tell people they can get ''undepressed'' without medicine- is to say It's their fault for being mentally ill.

I will continue to warn of Bipolar doctors.

The state of depression

Depression is often a horrible illness. Medicine has an important place - as the article directly declares. However, many are not helped by medication or psychotherapy. Clinical researchers argue about 10% of people they seen are not aided by virtually anything they do.
All the more reason for people to use whatever alternatives they can, especially the ones under their own control that help empower them.
More significant perhaps, factors like physical activity, social support, and different cognitive attitudes greatly diminish population rates of depression.
With an illness this common, you want to do all you can to aid the public health.

Curious

I have been on medication for almost 10 years due to OCD/depression and would love to be able to wean myself of it for obvious reasons. I have a very cognitive approach to my own life and situations and feel that I am much more grounded and intrinsically aware than most. But with that said, I worry that going off of a medication that (allegedly) helps to stabilize my brain chemistry would be a detriment to my health--physically and mentally (underweight, as my OCD manifests in overexercising and restriction at times.)

My point is that I question whether cognitive "awareness" and being outside (I am very active anyway) could really alter something that may be chemically driven. If there was a "natural" way to do this and keep me stable, I would be into that 110 percent. For now, I have no answers and feel like "be active and talk yourself out of it" underestimate the biological aspect of things.

That's not to say I don't think it's possible, but that I have yet to find a natural alternative.

I completely agree with you.

I completely agree with you. I don't have any good reason for having depression. Its how i have been since i was a teenager. My mother has the exactly same personality which leads me to believe this us more a chemical thing. I have been on A/D's for most of the past 10 years and tried to come off them with terrible results. I tried the diet, exercise, light box, supplements, etc. ... nothing keeps me stable like meds do.

Public health and depression

It is remarkable that in a nation where 30% of the country may eventually become depressed, there are virtually no well supported public programs to prevent depression. The data have been around a generation that social support is critical; the last twenty years have seen considerable research on physical activity; there is an entire movement regarding positive psychology.
Yet the debat, and not just in these pages, is almost entirely around medical care. No one is suggesting that medications should be stopped or not used by people who have been greatly aided by them in treating a life-threatening illness. However, cognitive techniques and many others help a great number of people stay undepressed and decrease severity and intensity of the illness. It is not either/or.
Can't there be a concern for the health of the population, beyond individual health care?

Curious cont.

I agree that cognitive techniques can prove beneficial as well, but I suppose that once again, we come back to the costs vs. the analysis (pun intended.) Whereas the Prozac has a generic alternative and is covered by my insurance, extensive cognitive therapy is not. It's not that I just pop a pill and hope for the best, but at this time, it's what I've found can keep in a place to better cognitively work through the more severe dips that come on rather unprovoked by outside events.

I suppose I could try and wean off the meds and try to strengthen the cognitive component. Part of me just worries that I do need that extra "oomph" to keep things stable. I realize this is more "me" centered than focusing on the population in general, but it's simply my view (and I don't feel informed enough to comment on the latter.) Sorry if I got off topic.

Staying undepressed

Dear Abby,
No one ever said the health care system makes any sense. That psychotherapy works and is relatively cheap does not mean that health insurance will pay for it.
People do what they can. The suggestions in the article can be used by most people to help prevent depression, treat depression, and relieve depression. The illness affects so many things you get the help you can get. Drugs help many, many people, too.
It sounds like you've made a sensible decision.

Agreed

I don't think anyone will ever say that the health care system makes sense, which is precisely why each individual has to make the individual choices that work best for them. True, many of those decision are influenced by financial factors, but I suppose there is also something to be said for a wealth of self-awareness and the use of what you have.

Thank you for your reply!

Staying undepressed

Dear Abby,
No one ever said the health care system makes any sense. That psychotherapy works and is relatively cheap does not mean that health insurance will pay for it.
People do what they can. The suggestions in the article can be used by most people to help prevent depression, treat depression, and relieve depression. The illness affects so many things you get the help you can get. Drugs help many, many people, too.
It sounds like you've made a sensible decision.

Me Too

I struggle with depression at times too. I am a restless person and strive after a feeling of accomplishment. It is progressively difficult to get that feeling as it creates a lot of stress. I get frustrated when I don't have the motivation to reach my goals and I fall into this depression. I don't think I will ever be able to overcome this need to accomplish goals in order to achieve that happiness. BUT, I cope with it by regression. I do things that I enjoyed as a kid. It serves as a needed distraction when things aren't going my way and allows me to build up my morale and energy again. I hate my job and I know it will be difficult to get one in this economy. So I am struggling to apply to jobs that are appropriate. But this weekend, my newlywed wife and I are going to build a FORT! You guys can't get in though because you need a password! Just because I'm an adult and all mature and what not doesn't mean I can't have fun. :)

Joshua, great idea. Enjoy

Joshua, great idea. Enjoy your fort!

.....

...I did not misinterpret your piece.

My comments still stand.

I like the fort idea. Nice.

I like the fort idea. Nice.

Really needed to hear these because...

I'm a student. My therapist just told me today she thought it might be a good idea for me to go on medication.

I'm broke already--the only reason I get to talk to her at all is because my university offers counseling for free--and sure can't afford meds. Don't know how I'm going to get through my last year of college without them.

Dear Anonymous, Ask your

Dear Anonymous,
Ask your counselor what arrangements they have for counseling in conjunction with medication management. Usually arrangements can be made, even at universities where the Health Department is overwhelmed.

thanks

i browse the internet pretty often, researching non-pharmacological ways to be less depressed. articles, guidelines, websites of national organizations, testimonies, you name it. this was by far the best piece of advice i've come across. also, thank you for disregarding the fluff.

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Matthew Edlund, M.D. researches rest, sleep, performance, and public health; he is the author of Healthy Without Health Insurance and The Power of Rest.

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