Is DEPRESSION a natural disease?
Not according to Steve Ilardi, prof. clinical psychology and author of The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Programme to Beat Depression without Drugs *, who adds that depression is NOT an inevitable part of being human, but a disease of civilisation.
"There's a profound mismatch between the genes we carry, the bodies and brains that they are building, and the world we find ourselves in"...
... that the all too common "sedentary, indoor, socially isolated, fast-food-laden, sleep-deprived frenzied pace of modern life" we find ourselves in in modern civilised society causes our brains and bodies to be continually 'stuck' in a stress response, which can eventually lead to depression.
And though Ilardi isn't completely opposed to medication, he sees it as just one tool in a depression-relieving toolbox, with the No.1 non-medicated cure he prescribes in his six step programme being:
EXERCISE (i.e. MOVEMENT!)
Maybe no surprises there.
But how many of us KNOW THIS but still don't (always) get around to DOING IT?!
At Moved to Move, we are not alone in knowing from our experience working with so many clients in the movement, fitness & sports therapy industry just how HARD it can be for many people to get, or remain, motivated to MOVE.
And if that's the case, then exercise or movement is DEFINITELY harder to do when in a depressed state, when the body and brain are caught up in communications full of protective 'shut down and withdraw' signals.
So, we're not saying it's easy to GET UP & MOVE, however on one heartening (and potentially motivating!) PLUS SIDE:
Fortunately for most of us Exercise ISN'T (or doesn't have to be) the 'most expensive pill on earth':
Ilardi reports that just WALKING BRISKLY for 30 MINS, 3 TIMES A WEEK brings about remarkable results for the people using his programme; better effects on depression than the antidepressant medication Zoloft has in fact.
And these effects are amplified, and accelerated, when we walk with friends or loved ones to add social connection in to the mix.
I (Suzi) know first hand how totally debilitating and devastating depression can be (both for people who experience it themselves and their loved ones), having experienced several severe (suicidal) bouts earlier in my life.
REGULAR WALKING is one of the major lifestyle changes I put in place that allowed me to finally leave my depression behind.
Please share this with friends or loved ones everywhere.
You never know, it might help someone to take their FIRST SMALL STEP towards overcoming depression.
(Depression is prevalent in our society and it's not always obvious someone suffers from it. In fact, many people with depression appear 'on the outside' to be going about 'very normal' lives.)
* References and further information:
Steven S Ilardi's book can be found here:
Or if you prefer video, here's one of his TedX talks:
Or for an article that summarises the content in the above video neatly, look here: