Depression really is a modern age disease. If we take a look at this graph we can see that the average rate for depression for the generation of people who are currently over the age of 60 is 10%.
Which when you think about it is pretty darn high. However, if you look to the left each of these lines represents another generation.
The generation of people who are currently 45 has a rate double that of the 60-year-olds generation. The rate of depression is 20%. And if we look to the far left the generation that is currently around the age of 25 (which is most of you guys) is already at 25%.
If we assume this line continues at the rate is it, it’s estimated that 1 in 2 people will have experienced depression by the age of 60. that’s half of the population.
There’s definitely an issue here. And it’s very apparent that this issue is caused by the massive changes in society today. Because the generation of people who are currently 60 years old lived a very different life from you guys.
They had no access to the internet, no smartphones, there were no forms of social media like Facebook and instagram, there was no way to order things right to their frontdoor. It’s clear that depression is caused by this sudden change in environment.
So what exactly can we do to cure depression? Well, a professor by the name of Steven Ilardi dedicated his entire career to figuring out this question. He and his team conducted dozens of studies and came to a conclusion.
There are 6 things you need to work on in order to cure your depression. These 6 things are all results of the massive amounts of change that we’ve undergone in the past couple of decades.
1. Physical Activity : Physical Activity is something we used to do A LOT of. If you think about it not too long ago we were busy out in the fields tending to our crops all day or in the woods hunting for food.
On average we used to exercise for at least 4 hours a day. Think about your own life … how many hours are you exercising per day? Most people with office jobs have virtually no exercise.
This is a huge difference, But just how effective is the exercise in regards to treating depression. Well… Researchers compared Zoloft (which is one of the leading pharmaceutical drugs on the market right now) with aerobic exercise.
In this case, it wasn’t even a lot of exercise it was only 30 minutes of brisk walking, 3 times a week. The patients who were prescribed the exercise did just as well as those who took the medication.
Funny enough the patients on Zoloft were found to be 3 times more likely to become depressed again after a 1 year follow-up.
One of the reasons why researchers think exercise is so effective is because of what it does to your brain. When you exercise important neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin have increased activity levels.
These same neurotransmitters cause depression when they are at low levels.
And These are the same neurotransmitters all those anti-depressants out there are targetting.
So why take those drugs when you can just exercise and have the same result, without any of those nasty side effects, and on top of all that having a healthier better looking body.
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids : The supplement community is often split between which supplements you should take. However it’s almost universally accepted that Omega-3 Fatty Acids (which usually comes in the form of Fish Oil) is a must have supplement.
Hell even famous Olympic swimmers were asked if they could just take one supplement for the rest of their life, almost all responded with Fish Oil. =
But why exactly are Omega-3 Fatty Acids so beneficial? To understand this you have to understand how our body deals with fats. These two fats are called essentials fats because we are unable to produce them on our own.
We must get them from outside sources. Omega-6 fats are pro-inflammatory while Omega-3’s are anti-inflammatory. Omega-6’s are found in grains and seeds, animals that eat them or are fed them, and especially fast food which is cooked in them.
Omega-3’s, on the other hand, are found in grasses, plants, algae and the animal that eat them such as fish and free-range animals. The ideal balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3’s is anywhere from 1:1 – 3:1.
This is the balance that most of our ancestors were able to maintain with their natural diets. But when researchers looked at the ratio in modern day Americans they found that our ratio was a whopping 17:1.
This means the average American is heavy on the inflammatory side, and that’s never a good thing. Because if you look at all of the major diseases that plague the modern world like cancer, heart disease, allergies, they’re all under the category of inflammatory diseases.
So with this knowledge scientists hypothesized that maybe if you started supplementing Omega-3’s you could combat all of this. They conducted dozens of studies and found that not only did people who suffer from depression feel better.
But this supplementation also helped with a variety of other diseases like the ones we just mentioned. They found that the ideal dosage for those who have Depression is 1000-2000mg EPA (which is one of the acids in Omega-3’s).
Something very important to note is that if you do decide to purchase fish oil supplements you must refrigerate them or else they will oxidize and essentially become toxic for your body.
You must also make sure the brand of fish oil you are purchasing uses some method to purify the oil, as the majority of fish nowadays are farm bred and contain many toxins.
3. Sunlight : Sunlight is very important for 2 reasons. The first reason is fairly well known, and it deals with a special little vitamin called Vitamin D. Vitamin D comes from your skin when it is exposed to sunlight and is primarily responsible for things like your bone health, your immune system, and muscle health.
However, researchers have also found that a lack of vitamin D will cause problems such as cancers, diabetes, and especially mental health. Vitamin D is actually becoming a very big problem as so many of us are spending more and more time indoors.
In fact, over 40% of people nowadays have a vitamin D deficiency to some degree. That’s a lot of people. So that’s reason number 1 to getting more sunlight – in order to get more vitamin D. Reason number 2 is something that you wouldn’t really expect. See there’s something very special about sunlight that normal indoors light can not provide for us. Sunlight is many many times brighter than indoors light. It turns out that our bodies need sunlight in order to set our circadian rhythms right. This is essentially the bodies internal clock that makes sure you feel tired at the right time, makes sure you get certain hormones at the right time and makes sure you feel sleepy at the right time.
All of these problems have been shown in studies to be a direct link to depression. Imagine feeling tired all day and being unable to sleep. These are common problems that most people with depression have. The only problem is that this clock needs to be adjusted all of the time.
If you were to lock yourself in a black room your body’s clock would start malfunctioning. You’ll think it’s day when it’s night and your hormones will be all over the place. We need bright natural sunlight at least once a day in order to set these clocks right.
Research suggest simply walking outside when the sun is high for just 10 minutes can properly adjust your cycadian rhythm and combat all these potential side effects.
4. Healthy Sleep : Researchers found that disrupted sleep was one of the most potent triggers of depression. They found that people who slept at extremely abnormal times that differed every day were more prone to developing depression.
This means that if you’re the type of person who stays up all night watch shows or playing games you fall into this category.
Healthy sleep translates into 7-8 hours of sleep with some people being outliers. One of the big complaints that you guys probably have are, “well it always takes me forever to fall asleep, so I can’t really control how much sleep I get.” there are a couple of simple tips to combat this.
1. Don’t use a computer or phone an hour before you plan on going to sleep as it prevents the production of melatonin the hormone which makes you sleepy.
2. Only use your bed for sleep and sex. This programs your brain to associate it with sleep
3. Do activities during the day. The ideal day, which is something that our ancestors had was packed with activities so that by the time it was bed time, they were able to fall asleep easily.
5. Anti-Ruminative : Activity Researchers found that the more we ruminate (which is essentially thinking about the past) the more likely we are to get depressed.
You might think well it’s perfectly normal to think about your past a lot isn’t it? Well in small quantities it’s fine but with uprising of technology and the internet more and more people are spending more time alone.
The problem with spending time alone is that you tend to ruminate A LOT. You think about something embarrassing that happened over a year ago. You think about how you used to be bullied in the 5th grade
It’s these types of thoughts that can bring you into depression if repeated enough. In order to combat these researchers suggest that you find engaged activities to partake in. This covers a wide spectrum of things such as any social gathering like clubs, sports, parties.
This also includes Any Solo engaged activities like working on your art/projects. The great thing about finding engaging activites is that they are exciting enough that you don’t really have time to think about the past.
And if they are engaging enough, by the end of the day when you’re about to go to sleep you won’t spend an hour in bed rolling around thinking about that time so and so said something mean to you.
You’ll be tired enough that your mind will be quiet and you’ll quickly to sleep.
6. Social Connection : The 6th and final factor is probably the most important Social Connection. We humans are social creatures, we’ve always stuck in groups.
What made us so durable as a species was our ability to work as a team and overcome any obstacle. This level of teamwork meant humans used to spend the majority of their days with other humans.
This is not the case anymore. In fact Half of Americans report having no close friends (Smith-Lovin 2006).
There are countless studies that support the idea that having a strong social network is vital for a healthy life. In fact a recent sutdy conducted by the University Of Michigan found that bonding with other humans releases certain hormones that reduce stress and anxiety significantly.
Researchers have also found that social isolation will literally cause your brain to shrink. Socializing is simply THAT important. One of the main reasons I believe social connection is such a big problem nowadays is due to a lack of face to face interactions.
We spend so much time on social media communicating, but we barely spend any time face to face. Communicating over social media isn’t nearly as satisfying as speaking with someone in person.
At a biological level this is true as well, the hormones produced in online social media interactions is singificantly different than the ones produced face-to-face. Humans need to be face-to-face in order to build long lasting trust and a deep relationship. Socializing and making friends is something that requires practice and tons of calibration. Nowadays we can hide behind screens and talk via text.
The ability to interact with someone face to face is a skill that is rarely ever practiced. Luckilly for you it’s my job to teach you as much of these skills as possible. Which is why I have dozens of videos on this subject that I will link to in the description below.
And that’s it these are the 6 factors you need to keep in mind in order to combat your depression. These 6 factors have been shown time and time again to work, so I’d advise you to take them very seriouslly. If you found value in this video make sure you subscribe and hit that bell icon. For those of you that want to learn more about building healthy social networks and improve your social skills checkout this video right here.