From the Publisher
Up without Meds began with the author's own recovery from forty-five
years of depression. Curious to learn whether science could explain
how he got over it, he reviewed studies for two years, and was surprised
to find that recent research didn't just explain it. The research predicted it.
The book cites more than five hundred studies pointing to lifestyle
changes as the most effective treatment for depression. Unlike
drug-company studies that pay researchers to come up with positive
results and often bury the research that goes against them, the results
cited here are from independent studies at top research centers, including
the Mayo Clinic, Harvard, Yale, Brown, Stanford, Johns Hopkins,
the University of California, and the University of Texas.
The research falls into several broad categories:
Research that correlates the dramatic growth of depression in the U.S.
and elsewhere during the last sixty years with concurrent lifestyle
trends provides epidemiological evidence that lifestyle is the deciding
factor in depression as well as other diseases, including Type II
diabetes. If lifestyle problems are the cause, lifestyle changes are the
Clinical studies have repeatedly demonstrated that even relatively
minor changes in daily habits consistently outperform drugs in
Groups of people who haven't adopted the American lifestyle suffer
far less depression than average Americans. Using the same
diagnostic tools psychiatrists use to spot mental disorders, researcher
Janice Egeland found that the Amish experience normal rates of most
mental illnesses but almost never suffer from clinical depression.
Mexicans below the border enjoy half our depression rate, but
become depressed precisely as often as native-born Americans do
after they move here and begin living like normal Americans.
Conduct your own study
When you make your first lifestyle change, you'll see evidence right
away that things are headed in the right direction for you. This in
turn will motivate you to take the next step, and the one after that
until your recovery is complete. Then you'll look in the mirror every
morning and see all the evidence you'll ever need that the lifestyle
approach is the one sure way to end depression.
About the Author
I grew up in the beautiful foothills of southern Ohio, the son of a
dentist and a high-school English teacher. Then I got the
cultural shock of my life. I went to Harvard.
At Harvard, I received an A.B. in philosophy cum laude
The U.S. Department of Labor says the average American has
four careers in his or her lifetime. I've had eight. I started out as an
advertising copywriter and later became an advertising agency
executive, Boston University lecturer, political consultant, and
educational designer. And all this covered less than the first half
of my working life.
In an unsuccessful attempt to kick back and take it easy in middle
age, my wife Judy and I moved to Taos, New Mexico, a mountain
resort. We both spend our days writing and speaking, and it's
obvious to us that this current work is what all our past work was
Every human being has his or her unusual gift. Mine is the ability to
discover a better way to skin the cat.
When I was a paperboy, I devised a system that allowed me to make
my Saturday collections in half the time, without my customer needing
to be present.
As the editor of the Harvard student magazine, I felt I had better
things to do than go to class or read books, so I discovered a way
to ace exams without spending much time on lectures or homework
(and without cheating).
As a political advertising strategist, I developed an entirely new
approach that was credited with electing a young U.S. Senator who
went on to become a Presidential candidate.
As a retailer who came on the scene at the height of a tourist boom,
I had to pay up to six times as much rent as my competitors who
signed their leases in leaner times. I found a new way to do business
that cut my merchandise cost in half and made it possible for me to
afford $11,000-a-month rent in a place like Aspen.
But my most useful discovery is the one I made about six years ago.
After forty-five years of being depressed off-and-on, and after failing
to recover with the help of antidepressants and psychotherapy, I
discovered what had been depressing me all my life, and how to
reverse the process so I would never be depressed again.
This happy discovery has meant more to me, and to my wife, than
anything else I've ever accomplished. And now, if you're game, I'm
committed to helping you get depression out of your life permanently,
as I did, so you'll be able to say, as my friends and I do in Taos,
"Just another average day in paradise."