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On Sunday there was a clip about depression on TV One, if you didn’t see it, you can catch it on TVNZ ondemand. The segment covers a couple of personal experiences, as well as having an interview with a Doctor. There is also some discussion on how to recognize depression in yourself, and others, and what should be done about it. Worth a watch.

A couple of months ago, we wrote about an ecological perspective on depression. I recently noticed Time Magazine has an article on Eco-Therapy. A couple of interesting exerpts:

…Eco-therapists point out that human beings have evolved in synchrony with nature for millions of years and that we are hard-wired to interact with our environment — with the air, water, plants, other animals. But in the past two centuries, beginning with the Industrial Revolution, people have been steadily removed from the natural world, our lives regulated not by the sun or moon but instead by the factory clock. Recently it’s gotten worse, with the rise of the Internet and other technologies, like iPhones and BlackBerrys, that dominate our lives, pushing us even further from any appreciation of our natural surroundings…

…A 2007 study by researchers at the University of Essex in England found that a daily dose of walking outside could be as effective as taking antidepressant drugs for treating mild to moderate depression. Of course, it’s no secret that regular exercise is a powerful mood enhancer — although researchers noted that a similar regimen of walking in a crowded shopping mall did not have the same impact — and the boost in vitamin D production in people who spent more time outside in the sun surely helped as well…

Food for thought.

I just came across an article discussing an intervention aimed at reducing post partum depression in mothers. Basically, mothers who had been through post partum depression received training, then regularly called new mothers. While 25% of ‘high risk’ mothers receiving usual care reported reported significant depressive symptoms, only 14% of ‘high risk’ mothers who received peer support reported significant symptoms.

Peer support is a big part of what the depression support network offers, so it’s good to see it’s effectiveness demonstrated in studies. The research also reminds us of the importance of keeping up contact with others when we’re going through tough times.

August 2009
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