Thursday, July 02, 2009

PJTV: The Depression Cure

Do you or someone you know suffer from depression? Then you must watch my PJTV interview with Dr. Steve Ilardi, author of the new book The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs. Dr. Ilardi discusses how modern life is causing depression; how ruminating over one's problems is linked to depression and most importantly, what can be done to beat it--either for yourself or a loved one.

You can watch the show here.

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17 Comments:

Blogger ballyfager said...

He seems like a decent and well intentioned person. But aren't his answers somewhat formulaic? That's my complaint with therapy generally.

I don't have the degrees, designations, or therapeutic experience. BUT, I'm the expert on me . Doesn't it give the therapist pause to realize that none of us can ever know what it's like to live inside someone else's skin?

3:11 PM, July 02, 2009  
Blogger Nom dePlume said...

Books like this give me mixed feelings.

On the one hand, I think it's great to provide information that helps people live their lives in ways that maximize happiness, and minimize the risk for depression.

On the other hand, I've noticed a distinct trend in books on depression by therapists to present only cases that are resolved by therapy, which gives a false impression about the effectiveness of therapy. Therapy does not resolve all cases of depression, and implying that it does (if only by omitting counterexamples) is misleading, and possibly dangerous.

That said, I haven't read the book, so if the author avoids this mistake, then more power to him.

4:16 PM, July 02, 2009  
Blogger Gabriel said...

Yes, this is nonsense that stigmatizes clinical depression as a "choice" and not an illness.

I was depressed for over 15 years, but was lucky; my illness is very susceptable to SSRI's. The first time I took one (over 10 years ago), I felt the same way I did when I first got glasses: is this what everyone else sees? It's wonderful!

The reason that anti-depressant meds are so popular and over-prescribed is the same reason antibiotics are over-prescribed: they work.

No amount of therapy or "happy thinking" was going to fix me. (The analogy I like to use to is to suggest that a diabetic try to substitute "positive thinking" for insulin.)

The challenge is that many people who are diagnosed as clinically depressed and given meds (b/c it's easy and that's what they want) are really just unhappy due to bad decisions and/or current circumstances. For these people, the author's suggestions might help. However, I would argue that they aren't really depressed, just sad.

4:38 PM, July 02, 2009  
Blogger Gary Cruse said...

I began taking anti-depression medication a couple of weeks ago. I've come to some of the same conclusions as the book's author as to remedial actions to take, but to frame them as "without drugs" implies that medication is undesirable or not necessary. It's like refusing to take an aspirin for your headache.

The Stone Age nonsense also targets depressives who are out of tune with culture, which I doubt is what causes the majority of depression.

5:13 PM, July 02, 2009  
Blogger BarryD said...

No amount of therapy or "happy thinking" was going to fix me.

I think that the author was saying exactly that, and on a macro scale: no amount of therapy or "happy thinking" is going to fix anybody.

Have any of you watched the clip, or are these just knee-jerk responses to anyone that wants to figure out why we have such a high incidence of clinical depression?

5:30 PM, July 02, 2009  
Blogger Maggie45 said...

BarryD, thanks for your comment.

I could write pages and pages on my experience with clinical depression. I'm glad I watched the clip. He validates my own discoveries. I just ordered his book, so I can read about the studies that back up his suggestions, and my own experience. God bless this guy. It's easier for doctors to prescribe an antidepressant and for the client to take it, than it is for them to do a little work to change things. Go on drug.com and see the forum with over 10,000 posts from people trying to get off of Lexapro, just one antidepressant alone. Four months off of it I still get brain zaps unless I take a high dosage of omega 3s every day. If I forget I'm reminded. Like I said, God bless this guy.

8:03 PM, July 02, 2009  
Blogger Maggie45 said...

Oh, and thanks Dr. Helen for interviewing him. God bless you, too.

8:05 PM, July 02, 2009  
Blogger Nom dePlume said...

BarryD says,

Have any of you watched the clip, or are these just knee-jerk responses to anyone that wants to figure out why we have such a high incidence of clinical depression?

I have watched the clip, and what he says makes sense. My only problem is the one that I see virtually every time a therapist talks about depression, and that is the implicit message that depression can always be cured without medication. Sometimes it can, and sometimes it can't. So I'm willing to applaud the useful ideas he presents, and I hope they help a lot of people, but the need for medication to treat depression is not going to go away.

Maggie45 says,

It's easier for doctors to prescribe an antidepressant and for the client to take it, than it is for them to do a little work to change things.

Maggie, it's always easier to do the wrong thing when treating mental illness. All you have to do is the same thing, every time, which takes no thought. Actually working with each patient to find the best way to treat his condition, whether it be therapy or medication, is hard work. The result of laziness is that people who need medication don't get it, and people who shouldn't be taking it, do get it. There is no magic shortcut to the right answers.

11:57 PM, July 02, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

I'd like to watch the video...........

10:52 AM, July 04, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

I watched the video this morning. Dr. Ilardi says a lot of things that are true, we are very busy isolating ourselves. These new high white vinyl fences are all the rage around here, Home Depot must be having a sale. 2 weeks ago my neighbor put a 7 foot fence around a yard that is 11x20 ft and as I sit at my friends house here on July 4th weekend I am watching their neighbors install the same high fence around their house. The bigger the fence the better, everyone wants to make sure everybody else stays away. No wonder everyone is depressed.

11:54 AM, July 04, 2009  
Blogger Roismhaire said...

I think he has put forward a lot of good points - if people can use them to help themselves, then that's a good thing. I wonder if there are a number of depressed people that aren't willing to help themselves though. Do they want someone else to provide the answer rather than help themselves?

Most of the points he made were related to physical health. How much "happier" would we be as a society if we just made better choices when it comes to physical activity and diet?

I strongly agree with his point about our need for community. I'm from Ireland and that is one thing that struck me when I moved here 15 years ago is that there isn't any sense of it here except in churches (and here in TX there's one on every corner).

His points may not be the answer for everyone, but it sounds like he's tackling it from a more holistic viewpoint, which sounds good to me.

12:59 PM, July 04, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Nom dePlume wrote: "My only problem is the one that I see virtually every time a therapist talks about depression, and that is the implicit message that depression can always be cured without medication."

I concur. We psychologists cannot prescribe, and to the man who only has a hammer, the world looks like a nail.

Trey

3:48 PM, July 04, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Roismhaire said...

"Most of the points he made were related to physical health. How much "happier" would we be as a society if we just made better choices when it comes to physical activity and diet?"

The neurological research shows that there are brain benefits from exercise. Exercise affects neurotransmitters which improve our mood.

Trey

3:51 PM, July 04, 2009  
Blogger Cheryl said...

I, too, have had depression off and on for almost eight years. My experience was that it was easy to tell my OB I was feeling "off" or "not right" and for him to write out my prescription. The harder part was regarding therapy as an additional part of my treatment. I HATE the fact that I have to take medicine for this, but therapy has always felt like my dirty little secret, not the drugs.

I welcomed Dr. Ilardi's ideas, and I thought Dr. Helen did a good job of getting lots of information from him. Of course, when you say these things out loud, like "Get more sleep," "Have friends," or "Take in some sunshine," they sound like no-brainers. But these things are easy to push out of a busy life. For someone with depression, presenting these therapies as part of a comprehensive cure makes it much easier to prioritize them. They don't become self-indulgent but rather are part of a bigger picture of self-care.

So now I'm going outside to work in my garden. Sunshine, check. Physical work, check. Have a good Sunday!

11:49 AM, July 05, 2009  
Blogger God Of Bacon said...

Depression can be treated by embracing a sense of purpose.

9:52 PM, July 05, 2009  
Blogger Nom dePlume said...

TMink, I think you hit it on the head :).

10:26 PM, July 05, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Well, thanks, but you started it.

Trey

11:56 PM, July 05, 2009  

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