I am often concerned at how common it is to label a down in the dumps time as depression. Everyone, let me say that again, everyone, goes through tough times, experiences grief, regrets, guilt and much more. Most find their own way out of it. Not many want to hear that they can alter their psychological circumstance, mental and physical energy levels and clarity of thought with doing things differently. More than anything I would see this as a sign of the times. If you are suffering certain

The thing here is, that depression can be a real thing, and the commonly misguided claim of depression, makes it more difficult for those genuinely suffering from this as a disorder, to get the right kind of help. It is dismissed by many because of the false claims not because of the real condition. So when do we know, that your depression is physical not psychological?

For over 30 years now, bad diet has been recognized as a major contributor to depression, sleeplessness, emotional issues and psychotic breaks (yep that bad). Symptoms like regular headaches, feeling irritated often, mood swings and even major symptoms like MS. There are increasing information coming to light that fibromyalgia and other forms of arthritis, have been diagnosed mistakenly, as the symptoms have disappeared with dietary changes and while not necessarily the only issue, for some weight loss.  There are cases of tumours diagnosed as cancer, that have disappeared with diets, not only are these fairly well known, but the authors of many books attest to something that worked for them, often a tea, or dietary change.

 I have recently been in contact with a woman who has MS, she spent 15 years in a wheel chair, could barely speak and had incredible fatigue (her words) she stopped eating all wheat and dairy products, within 3 years she was writing a book about the amazing turnaround in her health. Now in her 70’s she laments the years she spent taking pills, and understands that her body would be in a lot better shape now, if she had done this at the outset. To note, she walks around every day, swims, and talks and thinks very clearly. Because of previous degeneration during the 15 years taking medication, she needs a walker to maintain her balance, every day, she goes walking for hours, and she doesn’t get fatigued or dizzy.

This article though, isn’t about diet alone, it is about attitudes. My mum had a bathroom cabinet full of pills, she took medications for everything, some of which are banned today. She took pills to sleep, pills for any headache, nasal sprays and eye drops. Anti-allergy meds (which made her tired) and then something to help her stay regular on the loo. Yet, mum was never well, didn’t get better and died young. Not one of these things contributed to her wellbeing, yet all of them contributed to her early demise.  Your liver is required to disseminate any and all medications you take, promotional material may give you the impression that areas are targeted for pain relief or other, but the truth is, we are just not that good. This means every organ or part of your body has to deal with the active ingredient, but now your liver is working overtime too. But this article isn’t about the damage that drugs can do, otherwise known as side effects, but are really just effects. If you took into account that contraindications for antidepressants is that they can cause depression, you might think twice. But wait, there’s more.

Physical activity can work wonders for those suffering from depression and anxiety, as well as neurological, mood and eating disorders.

The media is buzzing over the so-called new research from the University of Vermont showing significant positive results to exercise in an inpatient psychiatry facility. The clinicians found that 95% of patients responded with positive results. Some years back Massey University did their own research on what ails us, and came up with an even more astounding result. 75% of all disorders, physical and psychological were caused (yes caused, not contributed to) by what we ingested.

The study in Vermont by Tomasi and colleagues says that as a treatment exercise is so effective it can reduce therapy times and reliance on medication. The authors write that exercise can help

“Promote more empowering, dynamic, dialectic, holistic, and adaptive psychological (cognitive) and physical (somatosensory) strategies to well-being.”

Exercise has proven to be more effective in every way and for longer, than any cognitive behavioural therapy and medications. Does this mean you should join the gym and run 10k a day? No! their study included the basics, walking down the road to the shop every day, walking up and down stairs, wandering around the mall didn’t quite cut it, but hey, it’s a walk right? The key is getting up and doing stuff, go to the beach and have a walk. When you consider a bit of exercise, if your whole body sighs and your mind says nah, that is an indication that you really need to as your body has forgotten that movement produces oxygen, and this oxygen moves through your bloodstream. Nutrients (food) is carried in minute quantities in a bubble of oxygen in your blood to every part of your body. It is for this reason, that any form of exercise, once you get past the. `I’m fat and unfit bit’, will do wonders. An oxygenated mind thinks clearly, sees clearly and plans clearly. It also finds ways to enjoy moments that an oxygen, nutrient deprived brain struggles with.

There are no magical potions and that includes medications, but there is good sense and common knowledge. I find it depressing to think of how much money is being made encouraging depression. Moving from adults and now advertisements have started for children. If you think your child is depressed, start going to the park, be an example for them. Health and happiness can be as simple as sorting your diet, (you know you want to), or getting a bit of exercise. Heard it all before? Sure you have, but what did you do about it?