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Is everything you think you know about depression wrong?

Depression and medication

Doctors for long treated depression as something inside your brain, which can be treated with meds, with no outside influence.

Certain exceptions (like losing a loved one and this leading to extreme depression) raised suspicion that this orthodox and old treatment of depression has always been wrong.

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Is everything you think you know about depression wrong?

Is everything you think you know about depression wrong?

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jan/07/is-everything-you-think-you-know-about-depression-wrong-johann-hari-lost-connections

theguardian.com

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Key Ideas

Depression and medication

Doctors for long treated depression as something inside your brain, which can be treated with meds, with no outside influence.

Certain exceptions (like losing a loved one and this leading to extreme depression) raised suspicion that this orthodox and old treatment of depression has always been wrong.

Isolated diagnosis

To treat someone who seemingly has depression, while isolating this from any other situation, event or circumstance that might have triggered it is a flawed way to diagnose a potential mental illness.

The root cause of the problem of depression is not addressed in this way.

Happy pills

Antidepressant prescription and eventually their doses have doubled over the past decade, yet depression and anxiety are spiraling out of control.

The real cause of depression does not seem to be completely inside our heads, and pill-popping is just a stop-gap measure, which may even be harmful.

About statistics

Drug companies fund loads of studies, yet publish a few favorable results, handpicked from the vast amount of varied data, hiding the rest, to show to the public that their drug works.

Antidepressants fact

Between 65 to 80% of people on antidepressants fall back to depression within one year.

Depression and serotonin

Attributing depression to spontaneously low serotonin is "deeply misleading and unscientific".

According to Dr. David Healy, there was never any basis for it, ever. It was just a marketing copy.

Causes of depression

Toxic environments, family problems, stressful situations, and unappreciated or meaningless work are the real causes of depression, and it is not really a problem with the brain.

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Unhappiness and depression are on the same platform. They both are caused due to our disconnection from what makes us happy.

What we need to be Happy

Depression is caused by the lack of what we need to be happy:

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Soul-Destroying Work

If the work you're doing isn't meaningful, people are bound to get anxious, depressed and unhappy. The most stress-inducing is the work that is monotonous and boring.

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How depression is measured

Depression is often measured by scientists using something called the Hamilton Scale. It runs from 0 (where you are dancing in ecstasy) to 59 (where you are suicidal). 

Causes of depression

Many leading scientists believe the whole idea that depression is caused by a “chemically imbalanced” brain is wrong. 

There are in fact nine major causes of depression and anxiety that are unfolding all around us. Two are biological, and seven are out in here in the world, rather than sealed away inside our skulls.

Childhood trauma can cause depression

When you’re a child, you have very little power to change your environment. So, you have two choices.

  1. You can admit to yourself that you are powerless and there’s simply nothing you can do about it.
  2. You can tell yourself it’s your fault and at some strange level under your control. If you were responsible for being hurt, then at some level, you have to think you deserved it.

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There’s emerging evidence that ordinary medications - from paracetamol to antihistamines, statins, asthma medications, and antidepressants - can change our brains. They can make us impulsive...

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  • The US buys an equivalent of 298 paracetamol tablets per person every year.
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Depression is often accompanied by a critical, self-destructive mentality that interferes with and distracts us from our daily lives. 

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Many people who suffer from depression are actually masking a feeling of anger, turning their rage toward someone else on themselves.

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Be Active

It's a physiological fact that activity fights depression. 

Get your heart rate up 20 minutes a day, five days a week, and it has been scientifically proven that you will feel better emotionally.

Even just getting out of the house for a walk, a game of catch with your kids, or a trip to the gym is a medically proven method of improving the way you feel.

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Antioxidants found in brightly colored foods like fruits and vegetables act as a defense against oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain and body. Antioxidants also repair oxidative damage and scavenge free radicals that cause cell damage in the brain. 

Omega 3

Omega 3 are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are involved in the process of converting food into energy. They are important for the health of the brain and the communication of its feel-good chemicals dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.

Omega 3 are essential nutrients that are not readily produced by the body, so we must include foods high on it in our diet. 

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People with alcohol and drug problems have a greater likelihood than average of having a mental illness and have far poorer health outcomes.

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Prioritize rest and sleep

Sleep hygiene techniques aim to improve sleep quality and help treat insomnia. 

They include: adjusting caffeine use, limiting exposure to the bed (regulating your sleep time and having a limited time to sleep),  limiting exposure to the blue light from smartphones, and making sure you get up at a similar time in the morning.

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Inflammation

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Body and Mind

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This has led to new experiments using anti-inflammatory drugs like antidepressants, which proved successful.

This provides an important insight on how the body, brain, and mind are co-related and is vital at a time when there are rising cases of mental health disorders and dementia throughout the world.

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