I hear it all the time, “I have a good job, I have a healthy marriage… I have no REASON to be depressed, but I just am.” Well I’m here to tell you, that just because you feel depressed doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you, there’s just likely something wrong with your lifestyle. Why is this important? It means that depression is, in fact, in your control and you can take charge of it.
Study, after poll, after investigation is showing that despite an increase in antidepressant use, we’re reaching epidemic levels of depression in our society. Yet, when present day hunter gatherer tribes are explored, not a single case of anxiety or depression can be found. When comparing their lifestyles to the modern day western lifestyle, we learn that we have engineered some pretty import aspects out of our lives.
Over the next few weeks we’re going to go into what elements are PROVEN through research to help you take charge of your depression. This autumn we will also be running a course called Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC-D) for depression where we’ll go even more in depth and you’ll even be paired up with a personal trainer to help you. What’s different about TLC-D? It’s been found to reduce symptoms by at least half for 70% of people who were diagnosed as TREATMENT RESISTANT. That means 70% of people who had tried traditional psychotherapy AND tried medication and were STILL depressed saw at least half their symptoms disappear.
Things we’ll be covering over the coming weeks…
A lot of the food we eat today doesn’t eat the food IT is supposed to be eating, which means we’re often missing out on essential fatty acids that our bodies aren’t capable of creating on their own. As a result, we’re left with an unbalanced ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids which promotes inflammation in the body. When there is inflammation in the body, we’re more prone to depressive episodes. Next week you’ll learn more about why that is and what to do about it.
If you think about hunter gatherer tribes, they often have less time to sit alone and think. They’re usually busy doing activities like hunting, gathering food, building homes and tending to other people. Today we spend so much of our day isolated from other people, that we’re more often than naught left to our own devices. That’s usually when negative thoughts come into our heads.
As a result of planes, trains and automobiles, we no longer engage in nearly as much physical activity as our bodies are built for. Exercise, when done properly, has been found to be EQUALLY as effective as antidepressant medication. We’ll be talking in the coming weeks about why your brain is built to simulataneously hate and crave exercise.
This element is especially import for people who suffer with a seasonal component to their depression and for people with insomnia. But, it’s all about the timing. Bright light is the only way we’re able to reset our internal body clock (which isn’t as accurate as you may think). The light inside our homes isn’t bright enough to reset it, but it IS bright enough to keep us awake at the wrong times. We’ll talk about the best times to get the right kind of light exposure.
As we mentioned earlier, the modern adult spends much less time with other people compared to the communities of even 100 years ago. When suffering rom depression, our brains tell us to avoid other people even though that’s the last thing we need.
These days with computers, Netflix, Facebook, email… its nearly impossible to shut off. 10 years go the average person slept 9 hours a night. These days the average person gets 6.5-7 hours. Remember, there’s a reason sleep deprivation is considered torture. It’s one of the single leading causes of depression and suicideal ideation. Want one sleep but feel like you can’t? Don’t worry, we’ll teach you how to overcome that too.