Talking (Psychotherapy)


The most successful and proven therapy is as simple as talking. Talk Therapy aka: Psychotherapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Psychotherapy can also help treat depression. Psychotherapy helps by teaching new ways of thinking and behaving, and changing habits that may be contributing to the depression. Therapy can help you understand and work through difficult relationships or situations that may be causing your depression or making it worse.

It involves talking with a mental health professional to treat a mental illness. Psychotherapy can occur one-on-one or in a group. Talk therapy treatment for PTSD usually lasts 6 to 12 weeks, but can take more time. Research shows that support from family and friends can be an important part of therapy.

Psychotherapy is the main therapy for anxiety without the use of Pharmacopoeia being involved.

Many types of psychotherapy can also help people with PTSD. Some types target the symptoms of PTSD directly. Other therapies focus on social, family, or job-related problems. The doctor or therapist may combine different therapies depending on each person’s needs.

One helpful therapy is called cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. There are several parts to CBT, including:

Exposure therapy. This therapy helps people face and control their fear. It exposes them to the trauma they experienced in a safe way. It uses mental imagery, writing, or visits to the place where the event happened. The therapist uses these tools to help people with PTSD cope with their feelings.

Cognitive restructuring. This therapy helps people make sense of the bad memories. Sometimes people remember the event differently than how it happened. They may feel guilt or shame about what is not their fault. The therapist helps people with PTSD look at what happened in a realistic way.

Stress inoculation training. This therapy tries to reduce PTSD symptoms by teaching a person how to reduce anxiety. Like cognitive restructuring, this treatment helps people look at their memories in a healthy way.

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Pet Therapy


Pet-therapy: a trial for institutionalized frail elderly patients. Twenty-eight subjects with chronic age-related disabilities living in the nursing home were assigned to a pet-therapy intervention group, consisting of 3/week sessions of almost one-hour visit for 6 weeks with a little cat, of to a control group undergoing usual activity programs. Pet-therapy has shown a significant reduction not only in depressive symptoms but in blood pressure as well. (Stasi, Amati et al. 2004).

AIDS diagnosis and depression in the Multi-center AIDS Cohort Study: the ameliorating impact of pet ownership. This beneficial effect of pet ownership occurred principally among persons who reported fewer confidants. These results suggest that by enhancing companionship for some HIV-infected persons, pets may buffer the stressful impact of AIDS. (Siegel, Angulo et al. 1999; Cline 2010; Vollestad, Sivertsen et al. 2011).

Hearing dogs: a longitudinal study of social and psychological effects on deaf and hard-of-hearing recipients provided assistance dogs that alert their deaf or hard-of-hearing recipients to key sounds, thus increasing their independence and also providing companionship.

There were a number of significant differences in measures of well-being between the period prior to placing the Hearing Dog and the period after placement. Recipients reported significant reductions in hearing-related problems such as response to environmental sounds; significant reductions in measures of tension, anxiety, and depression; and significant improvements in social involvement and independence.

The longitudinal nature of this study supports evidence that these improvements persist for some time after the placement of a dog, with significant differences being reported, in many cases, up to 18 months after acquiring a dog (Guest, Collis et al. 2006).


Pet Therapy
Guest, C. M., G. M. Collis, et al. (2006). “Hearing dogs: a longitudinal study of social and psychological effects on deaf and hard-of-hearing recipients.” Journal of deaf studies and deaf education 11(2): 252-261.

Siegel, J. M., F. J. Angulo, et al. (1999). “AIDS diagnosis and depression in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study: the ameliorating impact of pet ownership.” AIDS care 11(2): 157-170.

Stasi, M. F., D. Amati, et al. (2004). “Pet-therapy: a trial for institutionalized frail elderly patients.” Archives of gerontology and geriatrics. Supplement(9): 407-412.

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Meditation (Mindfulness)


This sites intended use it not for self-treatment of depression. If you or someone you know is depressed you should seek help from a health care professional.

Studies have shown meditation to be effective (Gayner, Esplen et al. 2011) (Szanton, Wenzel et al. 2011). The thought behind it is that you are taking your mind off of the past and future by concentrating on your breath. Even though problems will still exist you have given your mind a break from being the fight, flight, or freeze mode. (Goldin & Gross 2010)

An 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction study (Shapiro, Schwartz, Bonner et al. 1998) on Medical and Premedical Students at the University of Arizona. The study had a high completion rate of 97% which was consistent with previous studies. The data indicate that participation in a mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention can effectively

1) Reduce self-reports of overall psychological distress including depression

2) Reduce self-reported state and trait anxiety

3) Increase scores on overall empathy levels

4) Increase scores on a measure of spiritual experiences assessed at termination of the intervention

These results replicated in the wait-list control group, held across experimenters were observed during the exam period. Further, analysis demonstrated that one’s compliance with treatment played an important role in the outcome.

Gayner, B., M. J. Esplen, et al. (2011). “A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness-based stress reduction to manage affective symptoms and improve quality of life in gay men living with HIV.” Journal of behavioral medicine.

Goldin, P. R. and J. J. Gross (2010). “Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on emotion regulation in social anxiety disorder.” Emotion 10(1): 83-91.

Szanton, S. L., J. Wenzel, et al. (2011). “Examining mindfulness-based stress reduction: Perceptions from minority older adults residing in a low-income housing facility.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine 11(1): 44.

Vollestad, J., B. Sivertsen, et al. (2011). “Mindfulness-based stress reduction for patients with anxiety disorders: evaluation in a randomized controlled trial.” Behaviour research and therapy 49(4): 281-288.

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Light Therapy


Low-intensity blue-enriched white light (750 lux) and standard bright light (10,000 lux) are equally effective in treating SAD. A randomized controlled study. Both treatment conditions were found to be highly effective. The therapeutic effects of low-intensity blue-enriched light were comparable to those of the standard light treatment. Saturation effects may play a role, even with a light intensity of 750 lux. The therapeutic effects of blue-enriched white light in the treatment of SAD at a luminance as low as 750 lux help bring light treatment for SAD within reach of standard workplace and educational lighting systems. (Meesters, Dekker et al. 2011). Light Therapy for Seniors in Long-Term care study at a nursing home in Pennsylvania also showed cognitive improvements. The behavioral assessments were made using the MicroCog Assessment, Geriatric Depression Scale, Profile of Mood States and (Royer, N et al., 2011) daytime sleepiness was evaluated using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale   (Golden, Gaynes et al., 2005).


Golden, R. N., B. N. Gaynes, et al. (2005). “The efficacy of light therapy in the treatment of mood disorders: a review and meta-analysis of the evidence.” The American journal of psychiatry 162(4): 656-662.

Meesters, Y., V. Dekker, et al. (2011). “Low-intensity blue-enriched white light (750 lux) and standard bright light (10,000 lux) are equally effective in treating SAD. A randomized controlled study.” BMC psychiatry 11: 17.

Royer, M., H. B. N, et al. (2011). “Light Therapy for Seniors in Long-Term Care.” Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.

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Grandpa always said nothing like a smile and laughter to brighten the spirits This is also a good part of patient-doctor relations (Pawlikowska, Zhang et al. 2011). Another report of an 88 year-old with advanced gastric cancer Considering the patient’s age and her desire not to receive cancer treatment, we prescribed laughter therapy as recommended by the Society for Healing Environment (Noji,  Takayanagi 2010). The program was implemented in a laughter-inducing environment and consisted of five stages:

1)    Making the patient feel safe,
2)   Relaxing the patient,
3)   Increasing the effectiveness,
4)   Improving her condition
5)   Increasing her joy of living.

One year and seven months later, an endoscopy indicated that the lesions clearly improved. A tissue biopsy revealed that nucleus abnormality clearly improved from the initial diagnosis, with no irregularity in size.

Although partial gastric adenocarcinoma was suspected, the cancers turned into gastric adenoma, atrophic gastritis, and enteroepithelium metaplastic carcinoma. Now, five years after the initial diagnosis, she maintains a good condition. Laughter, one of our casual behaviors, has the effect of reducing the stress experienced by the human body.

Mora-Ripoll, R. (2010). “The therapeutic value of laughter in medicine.” Alternative therapies in health and medicine 16(6): 56-64.

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This sites intended use it not for self-treatment of depression. If you or someone you know is depressed you should seek help from a health care professional.

Several studies have examined the efficacy of exercise to reduce symptoms of depression, and the overwhelming majority of these studies show that there is a positive benefit with exercise (Craft and Perna 2004).

One example, 30 community-dwelling moderately depressed men and women were randomly assigned to an exercise intervention group, a social support group, or to a wait-list control group. The exercise intervention program consisted of walking 20 to 40 minutes, 3 times per week for 6 weeks.
The authors conclusion was that the exercise program alleviated overall symptoms of depression and was more effective than the other 2 groups in reducing somatic symptoms of depression (reduction of 2.4 [walking] vs. 0.9 [social support] and 0.4 [control] on the Beck Depression Inventory [BDI], p < .05). Doyne et al.

Eighteen utilized a multiple baseline design to evaluate the effectiveness of interval training in alleviating symptoms of depression. The participants exercised on a stationary cycle equipped with an ergometer, 4 times per week, 30 minutes per session for 6 weeks.

Studies also have shown that the benefits of exercise involvement may be long lasting. Depressed adults who took part in a fitness program displayed significantly greater improvements in depression, anxiety, and self-concept than those in a control group after 12 weeks of training (BDI reduction of 5.1 [fitness program] vs. 0.9 [control], p < .001). The exercise participants also maintained many of these gains through the 12-month follow-up period

The younger, the better. Studies show that lower levels of physical activity starting younger in life (

It is said that the hardest thing about exercise is getting started. People exercise for various physical reasons; to improve muscle mass, lose weight, improve performance in sports and medical reasons. It is proven that it helps mental health, sleep and cognitive functions (Sattler, Erickson et al. 2011).

The saying, “Do it whether you like it or not,” does not seem to work in this scenario. The one doing the exercise needs to have the desire as well for the exercise.

Jacka, F. N., J. A. Pasco, et al. (2011). “Lower levels of physical activity in childhood associated with adult depression.” Journal of science and medicine in sport / Sports Medicine Australia 14(3): 222-226.

Sattler, C., K. I. Erickson, et al. (2011). “Physical Fitness as a Protective Factor for Cognitive Impairment in a Prospective Population-Based Study in Germany.” Journal of Alzheimer’s disease : JAD.

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Diet & Vitamins


Most healthy adults can meet their nutrient needs through adequate consumption of whole foods. That includes a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans also urge consumption of healthy fats such as olive oil in place of saturated and trans fats.

One of the reasons for focusing on a well-rounded diet is that nutrients have a synergistic effect. We need them all to work together. We are also still learning about the benefits and harmful properties.

Thus, consumption of a varied, whole foods diet provides individuals with the most benefit and lowest risk of harm. Here’s a link to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which gives more good background:

Studies have shown that many people with depression as well as other emotional issues lack most of the essential vitamins. Below is a table with benefits of nutrition on cognition and emotions.

There are not any supplements that have been proven as a treatment for depression, but Saint Johns Wort is the most prescribed treatment for depression in Germany.

Table: Nutrients  and the cognitive and emotional effects.

Nutrient Effects on Cognition and Emotion
Omega-3 fatty acids Amelioration of cognitive decline in the elderly(van Gelder, Tijhuis et al. 2007);
Basis for treatment in patients with mood disorders(Wu, Ying et al. 2004); Improvement of cognition in brain injury in rodents(Freeman, Hibbeln et al. 2006);Amelioration of cognitive decay in mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease(Calon, Lim et al. 2004; Hashimoto, Tanabe et al. 2005)
Curcumin Amelioration of cognitive decay in mouse of Alzheimer’s(Cole and Frautschy 2006)

Amelioration of cognitive decay in brain injury in rodents(Frautschy, Hu et al. 2001)

Flavonoids Cognitive enhancement in combination with exercise in rodents(Wu, Ying et al. 2006); improvement of cognitive function in the elderly(van Praag, Lucero et al. 2007)
Saturated fat Promotion of cognitive decline in adult rodents(Letenneur, Proust-Lima et al. 2007), aggravation of cognitive impairment after brain trauma in rodents(Wu, Molteni et al. 2003); exacerbation of cognitive decline in aging humans(Molteni, Barnard et al. 2002)
B vitamins Supplementation with vitamin B6, vitamin B12 or folate has positive effects on memory performance in women of various ages(Bryan, Calvaresi et al. 2002);

vitamin B12 improves cognitive impairment in rats fed a choline-deficient diet(Sasaki, Matsuzaki et al. 1992)

Vitamin D Important for preserving cognition in the elderly(Przybelski and Binkley 2007)
Vitamin E Amelioration of cognitive impairment after brain trauma in rodents(Wu, Ying et al. 2004); reduces cognitive decay in the elderly(Perkins, Hendrie et al. 1999)
Choline Reduction of seizure-induced memory impairment in rodents(Holmes, Yang et al. 2002); a review of the literature reveals evidence for a causal relationship between dietary choline and cognition in humans and rats(McCann, Hudes et al. 2006)
Combination (C, E, carotene) Antioxidant vitamin delays cognitive decline in the elderly.(Wengreen, Munger et al. 2007)
Calcium, zinc, selenium High serum calcium is associated with faster cognitive decline in the elderly(van Vliet, Oleksik et al. 2009);

Reduction of zinc in diet helps to reduce cognitive decay in the elderly(Schram, Trompet et al. 2007)

Lifelong low selenium level associated with lower cognitive function in humans(Ortega, Requejo et al. 1997; Gao, Jin et al. 2007)

Gao, S., Y. Jin, et al. (2007). “Selenium level and cognitive function in rural elderly Chinese.” American journal of epidemiology 165(8): 955-965.

Copper Cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer’s disease correlates with low plasma concentrations of copper(Pajonk, Kessler et al. 2005)
Iron Iron treatment normalizes cognitive function in young women(Murray-Kolb and Beard 2007)




B-vitamins help in combating depression and anxiety by enabling the proper functioning of neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are involved in the regulation of mood and emotion. Continuous consumption of these vitamins therefore helps in increasing the levels of “feel good” neurotransmitters like serotonin and S-adenosylmethionine (SAM-e). Low levels of vitamin D has shown an association with psychiatric illness (Berk, Jacka et al. 2008).


An interesting fact on fish consumption is that Japan is one of the highest fish consuming countries with one of the lowest rates of depression. Unfortunately it is also true that Japan has one of the highest suicide rates. One conclusion that can be drawn is that one supplement will not fix everything.


There are not any supplements that have been proven as a treatment for depression, but Saint Johns Wort is the most prescribed treatment for depression in Germany.


Calon, F., G. P. Lim, et al. (2004). “Docosahexaenoic acid protects from dendritic pathology in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model.” Neuron 43(5): 633-645.
Freeman, M. P., J. R. Hibbeln, et al. (2006). “Omega-3 fatty acids: evidence basis for treatment and future research in psychiatry.” The Journal of clinical psychiatry 67(12): 1954-1967.
Berk, M., F. N. Jacka, et al. (2008). “Is this D vitamin to worry about? Vitamin D insufficiency in an inpatient sample.” The Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry 42(10): 874-878.

Bryan, J., E. Calvaresi, et al. (2002). “Short-term folate, vitamin B-12 or vitamin B-6 supplementation slightly affects memory performance but not mood in women of various ages.” The Journal of nutrition 132(6): 1345-1356.
Frautschy, S. A., W. Hu, et al. (2001). “Phenolic anti-inflammatory antioxidant reversal of Abeta-induced cognitive deficits and neuropathology.” Neurobiology of aging 22(6): 993-1005.

Gao, S., Y. Jin, et al. (2007). “Selenium level and cognitive function in rural elderly Chinese.” American journal of epidemiology 165(8): 955-965.
Hashimoto, M., Y. Tanabe, et al. (2005). “Chronic administration of docosahexaenoic acid ameliorates the impairment of spatial cognition learning ability in amyloid beta-infused rats.” The Journal of nutrition 135(3): 549-555.

Holmes, G. L., Y. Yang, et al. (2002). “Seizure-induced memory impairment is reduced by choline supplementation before or after status epilepticus.” Epilepsy research 48(1-2): 3-13.

Letenneur, L., C. Proust-Lima, et al. (2007). “Flavonoid intake and cognitive decline over a 10-year period.” American journal of epidemiology 165(12): 1364-1371.

McCann, J. C., M. Hudes, et al. (2006). “An overview of evidence for a causal relationship between dietary availability of choline during development and cognitive function in offspring.” Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews 30(5): 696-712.

Molteni, R., R. J. Barnard, et al. (2002). “A high-fat, refined sugar diet reduces hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor, neuronal plasticity, and learning.” Neuroscience 112(4): 803-814.

Murray-Kolb, L. E. and J. L. Beard (2007). “Iron treatment normalizes cognitive functioning in young women.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 85(3): 778-787.

Ortega, R. M., A. M. Requejo, et al. (1997). “Dietary intake and cognitive function in a group of elderly people.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 66(4): 803-809.

Pajonk, F. G., H. Kessler, et al. (2005). “Cognitive decline correlates with low plasma concentrations of copper in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.” Journal of Alzheimer’s disease : JAD 8(1): 23-27.

Perkins, A. J., H. C. Hendrie, et al. (1999). “Association of antioxidants with memory in a multiethnic elderly sample using the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.” American journal of epidemiology 150(1): 37-44.

Przybelski, R. J. and N. C. Binkley (2007). “Is vitamin D important for preserving cognition? A positive correlation of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration with cognitive function.” Archives of biochemistry and biophysics 460(2): 202-205.

Sasaki, H., Y. Matsuzaki, et al. (1992). “Vitamin B12 improves cognitive disturbance in rodents fed a choline-deficient diet.” Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior 43(2): 635-639.

Schram, M. T., S. Trompet, et al. (2007). “Serum calcium and cognitive function in old age.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 55(11): 1786-1792.

van Gelder, B. M., M. Tijhuis, et al. (2007). “Fish consumption, n-3 fatty acids, and subsequent 5-y cognitive decline in elderly men: the Zutphen Elderly Study.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 85(4): 1142-1147.

van Praag, H., M. J. Lucero, et al. (2007). “Plant-derived flavanol (-)epicatechin enhances angiogenesis and retention of spatial memory in mice.” The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 27(22): 5869-5878.

van Vliet, P., A. M. Oleksik, et al. (2009). “APOE genotype modulates the effect of serum calcium levels on cognitive function in old age.” Neurology 72(9): 821-828.

Weng, Y. I., P. Y. Hsu, et al. (2010). “Epigenetic influences of low-dose bisphenol A in primary human breast epithelial cells.” Toxicology and applied pharmacology 248(2): 111-121.

Wengreen, H. J., R. G. Munger, et al. (2007). “Antioxidant intake and cognitive function of elderly men and women: the Cache County Study.” The journal of nutrition, health & aging 11(3): 230-237.

Wu, A., R. Molteni, et al. (2003). “A saturated-fat diet aggravates the outcome of traumatic brain injury on hippocampal plasticity and cognitive function by reducing brain-derived neurotrophic factor.” Neuroscience 119(2): 365-375.

Wu, A., Z. Ying, et al. (2004). “Dietary omega-3 fatty acids normalize BDNF levels, reduce oxidative damage, and counteract learning disability after traumatic brain injury in rats.” Journal of neurotrauma 21(10): 1457-1467.

Wu, A., Z. Ying, et al. (2004). “The interplay between oxidative stress and brain-derived neurotrophic factor modulates the outcome of a saturated fat diet on synaptic plasticity and cognition.” The European journal of neuroscience 19(7): 1699-1707.

Wu, A., Z. Ying, et al. (2006). “Dietary curcumin counteracts the outcome of traumatic brain injury on oxidative stress, synaptic plasticity, and cognition.” Experimental neurology 197(2): 309-317.


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Cranial Electric Stimulation (CES)


CES is a noninvasive procedure that has been used for decades in the United States to treat anxiety, depression, and insomnia in the general population. CES is therapy that a person can do at home. Although there are studies that show CES was helpful in generalized anxiety and OCD (Feusner, Kerwin et al., 2008), the test had a small number of patients, and in future tests it did not show any more difference than the placebo for depression (Carel, Eugster et al., 2009).
Bystritsky, A., L. Kerwin, et al. (2008). “A pilot study of cranial electrotherapy stimulation for generalized anxiety disorder.” The Journal of clinical psychiatry 69(3): 412-417.

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Depression is one of the biggest medical mysteries of our time. One statistic states an estimated 9% of all American adults suffer from depression and another states there are 20 million Americans being affected every year with depression or related disease. These numbers are of epidemic proportion and the following facts are trepidatious.
1) There is not a physical or biological bio-marker to identify the presence of depression.
2) We know that the side-effects can be as deadly as suicide.
3) Withdrawals from the psychoactive drugs that can be as bad as the side-effects.
4) Pharmaceutical companies claim they do not know how an antidepressant actually works.
5) Adding even more confusion is the fact that the symptoms of depression are shared with other diseases and imbalances, and depression itself is a symptom for other conditions (e.g., low estrogen, low testosterone, low glucose, etc.).
Even with the facts stated above, one visit to the doctor could get you a prescription for antidepressants. These facts make a strong argument that there should be guidelines.
This sites intended use is for informational purposes only. This site is not intended for self-treatment of depression. If you or someone you know is depressed you should seek help from a health care professional.

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