Monday, January 11, 2010

More Ways to Fight the Blues

What do bananas, music and gratitude have in common? A lot, according to the well –known “media” physicians, Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D., authors of the You series. Fifteen percent of us are clinically depressed at any given time, they say. Remember that clinical depression is persistent, and is not signaled by the occasional “down” day many of us feel now and again. While accounts of depression appear to be fewer among those over 65, white men in that age group are five times more likely to commit suicide than the average population.

The doctors outline a few key steps everyone can take to ward off depression:

  1. Talk it out. Talk therapies prove successful in almost 70% of cases studied. With serious depression, psychotherapy may be coupled with drug therapy.

  2. Eat a banana every day. This fruit is packed with nutrients that stimulate production of neurotransmitters, brain chemicals essential for healthy brain functioning. When the brain is healthy, incidences of depression decrease. Bananas are also a rich source of antioxidants that keep the presence of damaging free radicals at bay.

  3. Stay in the light. Research shows that we all respond positively to light, sunlight, bright light of most types. Try the Indoor Sunshine bulb to get full spectrum light inside your home. Halogen lighting also provides a level of brightness that the brain responds favorably to.

  4. End the day with gratitude. Keeping a journal and noting at least a few things every day for which you are grateful proves effective for pushing away negativity. Oprah says she lists six things as she gets into bed every night!

  5. Play music. Music stimulates the production of certain brain chemicals that can soothe and calm. While the type of music may vary for each person, nearly everyone has a positive reaction to some type of music. Experiment and find yours.

See Doctors Oz and Roizen discuss depression in this Real Age video clip.

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