Stone Age Lifestyle: The Depression Cure

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by SRL, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I heard a short radio interview today with a University of Kansas prof by the name of Dr. Steven Iiardi whose research focused in on rates of depression, reasons, and treatments in various cultures. The conclusion was that modern industrialized cultures have far higher rates of depression than their less modern counterparts and that humans were never made for this fast paced lifestyle of modern cultures.

    "The KU researcher heads a large treatment study, dubbed the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change project, which calls for patients to adopt six healing elements from the ancient past: consuming more omega-3 fatty acids; using engaging activity to combat rumination; getting regular sunlight exposure; increasing physical exercise; connecting more with others socially; and getting increased (and healthier) sleep. "

    Here's a blurb about his new book "The Depression Cure".

    I couldn't find the radio interview I heard online but did find a longer podcast here (which I haven't listened to yet).

    Here's the link to his book:

    Could a lot of depression seen in today's society stem from modern living?

    Fascinating stuff.
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    FWIW, I think so.

    I agree, we weren't made to live like we are. I think the pendulum will eventually swing back the other way, too. Just doubt its in my lifetime.
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Many thanks for this SRL! The book sounds GREAT!

    I don't mean to too my own horn...cough cough...
    okay, I will a little...but I have been saying these kinds of things for a very long time.

    Omega 3's, take a nice walk in the morning sun, get busy doing fun things...etc. Just put one foot in front of another...this is another expression of mine. I learned it years ago from AA literature. I don't drink, but think their literature is very good and applies to many things...but I digress.
    My experience and reading, has led me to believe that getting back to our biology, can help make us healthier and happier--AAF 6/9/09
  4. ML

    ML Guest

    Thanks SRL. I try to encourage my family to do most of these things but you reminded me I might want to pick up some fish oil :)
  5. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    The French always used to speechify about the American way of life, "eat standing up and run to the next meeting". We have lost the ability to enjoy friends and family around the dinner table. We discussed politics, religion, etc.. This frenetic pace is so unhealthy. I call my dinner table "my altar" and expect the kids to respect it. Fat chance, it's a lost battle, their loss, not mine or husband's. How do you fight peer pressure?
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    O absolutely!!

    Americans don't get enough sleep, we eat the worst foods, we never exercise and we spend far too much time in artificial environments (fake light, AC, surrounded by plastics). And folks wonder why they don't feel right....
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Sittin' on our derrieres in front of the computer all day... Makin' easy foods that are full of stuff that ensures that in a generation or so, our bodies will never biodegrade, in ovens that emit radiation... In that fluorescent light that is almost entirely unlike any natural light... Watchin' TV instead of playin' outside in the fresh air and enjoying Mother Nature...

    No wonder we're depressed.

    I did something weird this morning. Took a shower in the dark and put my makeup on while sitting on the back porch (our power went out just as the coffeepot finished, thank goodness!). I look fine and just want to go back outside now. Feeling more awake and cheerier than normal, too. That first-thing-in-the-morning freh air maybe...
  8. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    Anyone else see this as every single OTHER Diet/research study, just repackaged with a nice name? I mean, honestly! "Healing elements from the ancient past", indeed!

    Therapeutic Lifestyle Change project:
    1) Consuming more omega-3 fatty acids
    2) using engaging activity to combat rumination
    3) getting regular sunlight exposure
    4) increasing physical exercise
    5) connecting more with others socially
    6) and getting increased (and healthier) sleep

    Eat better, get more exercise, go outside and do stuff and be social, and sleep more? And this is supposed to be something NEW? I don't think so! It's the same stuff we've always known will improve our lives.

    And I'm sorry, the life expectancy pre-Modern times was around 25-40 years, on average. They didn't have a lot of time to get sick, 'cause they were lucky if they survived very long. Heck, with all the "weeding out" a dangerous world did back then, ONLY the well-adjusted and healthy survived to adulthood anyway. Blah.

    I'm not saying it's a bad idea - I agree, most of those things would be great for us all! But I really hate it when pseudo-science shows up and tries to convince people it's the real deal. :tongue:
  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Nothing makes me feel better than hay season.

    Seriously, there is nothing like coming together with your neighbors and everyone helping each other with what is quite possibly one of the hottest, dirtiest, hardest jobs on the farm.

    I look forward to it every year.
  10. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    And something else that was not mentioned....

    When we sit in front of our electronic screens (whether TV or computer) we are constantly subjected to images and information that makes us feel "less than".

    We do not have as much as that person.
    We are not as attractive as that woman.
    We are not as clever as that man.
    Why don't we own one of those....?
    Where can we get...?
    Why aren't we better than...?

    All of that "pressure" to be more, have more and constantly compare ourselves with fictional people (or the outrageous lifestyles of the elite) can lead to depression.

    As can constant images of "bad news".....violent crimes, poverty, disease, corruption, pollution, global warming, threats of war....the list goes on and on.

    No wonder Amnericans are depressed!!
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Very interesting. Thank you all.
  12. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    He didn't say it was anything new. He said we aren't doing it in our modern culture. I'm 48 and my children get far less outside play, spend far more time on their duffs in front of some electronic screen, and get more processed foods (actually not as much as the average kid because I cook mostly from scratch) than I did growing up. My teen is far more likely to hop on Facebook than spend time with a friend in person on a Sunday afternoon, while at his age I was hopping on my bike to go to a friend's.

    The world is always changing but for the things he's listed, I don't think we've necessarily changed for the better.
  13. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    This makes me wish we could all get together for coffee, hug each other, laugh and cry together, and then go for a long walk in the sunshine. The study is right; we really do need all of that in our lives.

    But I'm glad we can at least do it together in cyberspace. :D
  14. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    I'm just giving the other opinion here, Devil's Advocate, a bit. I guess, to me, it doesn't matter what he "says". He's hawking a book that is giving the exact same basic advice as every other book out there, and repackaging it as something to buy from him alone, because it's somehow "different". I'm pretty sure we're all well aware we need to exercise more (every TV show on the planet, every magazine, every gov't PSA program tells us so). We all know we need to eat better, from exactly the same sources. You'd literally have to be living under a rock to not already know the "magic advice" he's charging $17 for on Amazon. :) That's why I find it a bit distasteful.

    The other part that I find a bit off-putting is the "Stone Age" part - as I said, the world was dangerous and lacked medical care during that time period. Only the mentally and physically strongest survived into adulthood, anyway. So to base nutritional/psychological decisions on the distant past, and on modern hunter-gatherer societies with MASSIVE infant and childhood death rates - I dunno, seems a little silly. It sounds good on paper, but it's not really relevant, I don't think. Comparing apples to Komodo Dragons, yeah? Just thinking rationally about his claims - not saying they're wrong, just they they could bear some real thinking about.
  15. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Hey, you can play devil's advocate all you want. I didn't write the book, I'm only spreading the message in case it might help some readers here. :DI think if it helps inform people about positive steps that can be taken in leiu of medications, more power to him. At 17 bucks a crack, he'll be hauling in a lot less than the pharmaceutical companies.

    Actually he did address this part in the interview I heard. As I understood his claims were based on distant past, they were based on more primative cultures that still exist in areas of the world today and in the recent past. His comment was that they lived with far greater hardships than we do--illness, etc--yet depression rates were lower. Maybe growing up in societies where hardship is expected instead of ours where it always seems to take us by suprise contributes to the resiliancy.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The Amish, who live very simple lives, experience depression and bipolar. In fact, bipolar is studied because it's easy to trace hereditary in their culture.

    As one who has suffered a serious mood disorder, and who had relatives way back when who have, I personally feel there was always depression, and that it was just never diagnosed (kind of like Aspergers and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified/autism). The more you know about it, the more you see it. I believe it's hereditary, biological, and unrelated to lifestyle. Some of the most amazing people, who have gone through the mill, and live high stress lifestyles are very upbeat and optimistic and I envy them. Some Amish are severely depressed.

    I think situational depression is higher in high pressure areas (Japan, with so much stress on high achieving, once had the highest suicide rate in the world. If a student failed college, he shamed his entire family). However, I know KNOW that situational depression is a whole different animal from clinical depression. Clinical depression is unrelated to what is going on in your life whereas situational depression makes sense with what is going on with your life. Interestingly, both can be helped by medications. Anyhooo, this is my obervation and beliefs about depression. It is certainly diagnosed more now because we are more aware.
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    There is plenty of mental illness in France, England, everywhere. I agree with eeky. THis is one college professor selling a book. If he really had the answer to curing depression, everyone would be jumping on his bandwagon. I don't buy it.
  18. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I actually have a couple of Amish friends. My friend, E, has watched difficult child 1 and difficult child 2 grow up, as well as easy child 1 and easy child 2. His son and difficult child 2 are the same age and enjoy playing together. We've had a lot of interesting conversations about the differences in our cultures and the diagnoses of both difficult child 1 and difficult child 2. I was also raised mennonite, so we cover a lot of ground in our discussions. My friend W actually left the community for several years and lived in our culture. He eventually went back, married, and had children, but he still comments on a nice looking car. lol

    E has a mentally ill man in their community. He is treated with medication and the community, as a whole, helps keep an eye on him. They know that one of the first indicators that he is off his medications again is when he doesn't show up for work.

    E sees a marked difference in difficult child 2's behavior that he doesn't think even their controlled lifestyle would "fix". And E has suffered a bout of depression after moving away from his family and succumbing to the demands of farm payments. But on the whole, there is no "drive to succeed" as an individual like there is in our "English" world; its done as a community. But that said, E and I collectively think their culture does have less depression simply because their day to day life is based on their faith that is a huge part of their life from the very beginning, and because they are shielded from outside pressures and worries. E doesn't even know what Wall Street is, what the military is, he has no idea. Actually, the military is a favorite topic of conversation right now because difficult child 1 is "there".

    Anyway...just my .02. I think its there, but I do think its less a problem for them.

    And FWIW - I agree, this isn't new info. But hey, if $17 helps someone...go for it.