Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Stop depression 90 percent or more part 3.....

Today's post:  Tuesday, 2-14-2017

The drugs now given for depression don't work or barely work; they are as addictive as hard drugs; and they have recently found to help cause Alzheimer's disease.  Most doctors still know little else to try.  Some even think these drugs work; but they don’t.

But depression is a hardware and software problem of the brain.  

1.  We now know:  how to use cognitive therapy to fix the software

2. We now know how to fix the hardware;

a) We know what drugs directly harm the hardware and reliably cause depression.  So knowing never to take them even once and to stop them as fast as is safe to do so helps.  Knowing what to replace the drugs with instead also helps.

b) We know things that repair or replace nerves and brain cells and their connections. Successful talk therapy changes the part of the brain used and has this effect!  And, when people do the things that grow new brain cells enough to show on a brain scan, most cases of depression and many cases of PTSD ALSO show dramatic improvement

3.  We know a few things that make people feel better right away.  The best two are low tech and people can simply do them.  One high tech treatment and one drug have been shown to work right away but may not be available for many years yet.

So, most people get harmed by treatment when at the same time, we do know safe and effective ways that cure depression for over 90% of the people who use all the parts." 

This post and very likely the post next Tuesday and even the one after that have the details.

In his book, "The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs," author Stephen Ilardi PhD found that over 75% of the people who were depressed who followed each of those 6 steps properly were able to stop their depression.

Because the parts here ensure you do his steps well and turn off the causes of the remaining 25%, doing each of them we believe can stop over 90 percent of depression and even approach 100%.

That said, here’s a bit more on the first one:

1.  We now know:  how to use cognitive therapy to fix the software in your brain to lift depression.

We covered much more about that in our previous two posts in this series.

Martin Seligman, PhD found that if you see bad things as permanent and out of your control and you see good things as rare and unlikely to last, you will reliably be depressed.  Worse, the more often you think this, the worse your depression gets.

Our initial post describes ways to stop the inaccurate kind of thinking.  Surprisingly often depressed people think that bad things will keep happening, will always happen, and it’s all their fault when these assumptions can be tested to be false!

And, when there are things that make bad things happen that will continue for a bit or were partly their fault, depressed people assume they cannot deal with this or recover later.  That’s false too!  It may take a bit; but people can and have recovered from such things.

[End of part I.  This part two resumes this Tuesday with the second, very different skill Dr Seligman found that stops depression.]

People who are rarely depressed notice some good things that they DO find lasting.  They notice when good things happen and instead of worrying they won’t last, they tend to notice why they happened.

The other thing is that they think well on their feet and work so hard and try so many things and keep at it so well, they expect they can succeed in making good things happen and even convert bad things to good.

Part of this turns out to be that their hardware is in good shape!  Research shows that such people have dramatically high levels of connective white matter with its wiring together their conscious brain with all the memories in their hippocampus.

They’ve learned that by having access to ALL their memories, when they have to think on their feet, they can always remember a few things that they can try to deal with what they are facing.

Then they are so persistent and are so willing to make an extra effort to try things and truly spend hours and hours and even months to make it work, that what seems to be overconfidence simply reflects this self knowledge.

The two things that Dr Seligman’s model misses that people who STAY optimistic do are:

*First, they notice things that can harm them if they fail and do things in advance to prevent this.  And, they take action immediately to fix things they didn’t manage to prevent.  One successful CEO called these things “Below the Waterline” risks.

One person said that people who jump into water that they cannot see into feet first and NOT head first, tend to survive when there WERE harmful things they didn’t see.

People who STAY optimistic are Prudent Optimists who work hard at prevention to remove risks!

They also test solutions to see which ones work to do more of, which are total wipe outs to stop doing, and which ones need to be done better or another way.

*Second, they DO know very well what they themselves did to make good things happen and exactly what other people do to mess things up and cause bad results.

BUT, because they also know that other people have thousands of hours a week and skills and knowledge that they need and benefit from, they only give credit to what those people and the help they did provide and completely leave out what they did themselves –
AND they take responsibility for helping others get good results so they help find out what resources they need or training or help to succeed.  Only if they find someone who cannot or won’t do this, do they stop working with that person and replace them.

It may look impossible to take responsibility for getting good results anyway when people helping them don’t initially do so.

But effective optimists do just that. They take “radical” levels of responsibility.

This does take extra effort – sometimes a LOT of extra effort; but people who learn how to do it and force themselves to do it well are EFFECTIVE optimists.

..depression is a hardware and software problem of the brain.  

1.  We now know:  how to use cognitive therapy to fix the software

There are ways that even short term therapy with someone who knows how can help people learn these skills. 

But we’ve just described what bad mental software consists of and what desirable mental software consists of which people can use themselves to make these repairs.

We now begin with the next section:

2. We now know how to fix the hardware;

a) We know what drugs directly harm the hardware and reliably cause depression.  So knowing never to take them even once and to stop them as fast as is safe to do so helps.  Knowing what to replace the drugs with instead also helps.

b) We know things that repair or replace nerves and brain cells and their connections. Successful talk therapy changes the part of the brain used and has this effect!  And, when people do the things that grow new brain cells enough to show on a brain scan, most cases of depression and many cases of PTSD ALSO show dramatic improvement.

Think of your brain as a hardware system.  If it is robustly powered and fully charged; and its connections are healthy, interconnected in many ways in each part and between the parts; and it is self-repairing, you will be at your best.  AND, you will feel at your best –NOT depressed.

But what happens if all that is reversed?  Life often takes extra effort.  Sometimes it takes a LOT of extra effort.

*What if you simply haven’t the energy in your brain’s hardware to make that energy?

Even if you think decently you will feel a bit depressed.  But this is a hardware problem.

*What if you need to remember multiple things to make those these extra efforts successfully; but the hardware connections to your long term and short term memories are weak or simply no longer there at all?

Then you need to make an enormous effort to overcome normal challenges or you have to ask for help to do so.

This can be depressing also.  But it’s also a hardware problem.

*Here are some fixes for the energy problem:

a) We know what drugs directly harm the hardware and reliably cause depression.  So knowing never to take them even once and to stop them as fast as is safe to do so helps.  Knowing what to replace the drugs with instead also helps.

Never take beta blockers -- or stop them ASAP -- which you may need to do step by step for safety. 

Beta blockers are a known cause of severe depression and the only way to stop it is to stop the drug.

One doctor quite eloquently describes how his patients who were put on beta blockers by other doctors immediately developed severe depression.  Many even committed suicide before he could help them get off the beta blockers.

People on beta blockers have no physical energy to make an extra effort physically or even make enough of an extra effort mentally to do their work decently and manage their life away from work.

So being unable to change how much energy they have or how they feel, they tend to spend their time ruminating about how dreadful things are.  Every day there is something that always happens that IS bad:  They feel horrible and have no energy because they are taking the beta blockers.

People taking beta blockers become less able to exercise.  And, the beta blockers prevent the exercises that you do manage to do from making you more fit!

They have this effect on heart muscle too.  So when they are given for heart failure, they reliably cause it to get worse instead of better.

Last and far from least, they cause mental decline directly if you keep taking them.

Then, for many people, they are as addictive as cocaine and extremely hard to stop taking.

Last but far from least, although they have these effects, they will often cause dangerous surges in blood pressure if you stop taking them totally and immediately.

So you have to lower the dose gradually to stop them safely under a doctor’s care while measuring your blood pressure several times a day.

This is an extremely challenging way to stop an addictive drug as well.

So, the only safe way to deal with beta blockers is to NEVER begin taking them.

And, if you don’t want to be severely depressed, you must stop taking beta blockers as fast as is safe.

[We plan to rewrite this information to put the things that you can do right away to feel better right away so that if you do need to stop beta blockers, you will have the resources to deal with it successfully.]

Another drug that hundreds of thousands of people are on has similar problems.

Here are two facts:

1. No one who wants to stop being depressed should ever take any statin drugs.  They sometimes directly cause depression and they prevent the most important thing you can do to repair and improve your brain’s hardware from working.  They even make doing it well dangerous.

2.  Everyone today who wants to avoid dying early or becoming disabled needs to take action to prevent heart disease, strokes, and heart attacks. 

The evidence shows that there are two ways to do this that flat out work as much as 40 times better than the tiny protection statin drugs provide.

*Stop ingesting or exposing yourself to heart attack starters every day!  Most people today still do this.  Knowing to stop doing this; and learning how and what to stop; and making that lifestyle upgrade by itself is as much as 40 times as heart protective as statin drugs.

*Make the other lifestyle upgrades that robustly prevent heart disease and strokes by actual documented tests.

Eat 3 or more servings of organic vegetables a day.  Eat one or more servings of organic whole fruit – not juice – a day. 

Stay away 100% from nicotine, tobacco products, and tobacco smoke.

Work up safely to doing some kind of vigorous exercise, if only for 7 to 10 minutes a day – almost every day of every week.

Follow the rest of the low inflammation lifestyle described in the book “AntiCancer” which is available on Amazon and remains a best seller because of its great value.

**I ran across this sobering description of how taking statins can depress you directly:

“In a recent study, researchers at the University of Illinois looked at the effects of statins on mice.
They found that animals on statins definitely had lower cholesterol. 

But they also moved less. And when they did move, mice on statins didn't go as far. 
They were less fit, lost more muscle strength, and got tired faster. 

And at the cellular level, they didn't develop the muscle cells that help produce energy more efficiently.

In short, statins stopped the desire to exercise and the benefits of exercise.”

THAT is depressing even if you think well.  Tired all the time.  Easy to run out of energy.

Since there are MUCH more effective ways to protect your heart, causing depression by taking statin drugs the data show are a very bad idea, particularly if you want to stop being depressed.

AND, since vigorous exercise, if only for 7 to 10 minutes a day – almost every day of every week -- releases the nerve and brain cell growth hormone BDNF that repairs your hardware and restores full access to your hippocampus where you store your memories is the most important way to repair your brain’s hardware, like beta blockers, taking statins prevents the repairs!

*Here’s more on repairing your hardware that works well if you stay off of beta blockers and statin drugs.

Taking the omega 3 DHA as a supplement and eating it in wild caught fish high in omega 3 such as salmon and sardines and others helps release BDNF.

And, doing both the vigorous exercise AND getting the DHA releases more BDNF.

That is well established.  Adding the herbal supplement bacopa also is thought to add to this effect.

(Note that doing this combination of vigorous exercise and DHA when combined with eating NO wheat and the rest of the low inflammation lifestyle has been shown to be very heart protective.

So doing this set of things, the vigorous exercise, the DHA, and eating no wheat does TWO things.  You make abundant nerve and brain cell repairs and reduce any depression damage was causing you before AND you get better heart protection than statin drugs too!)

Scientists have done brain scans in people with PTSD and depression and found that when these repairs are there, the PTSD is less and the depression is often gone!

These techniques are the most important ones to repair your brain’s hardware. They can restore your brain’s neural net and white matter that fully connects you to your memories.

But what about the other half of the hardware repair, turning up your brain’s energy and your feeling of energy and energy reserves?

To be less depressed you want to find it easy to move, feel up to doing things, and have a deep energy reserve.

Not taking beta blockers is clear enough.  You are unable to boost blood flow to your brain because your heart’s control that enables that is shut down.

Statin drugs turning those things off is much more direct.  EACH cell in your body, particularly your heart and brain cells, has energy centers called mitochondria.

Statin drugs badly deplete the ubiquinol form of CoQ10 that boosts the mitochondria’s energy production and helps keep the mitochondria healthy.

So, to not be depressed, NOT taking statins is imperative.  But there is another problem with ubiquinol.  As you get older, your body converts less of your food to CoQ10 and its ubiquinol form.

Vigorous exercise overcomes this by releasing stem cells that boost your mitochondria directly.

BUT, we now know that taking the supplement, ubiquinol, can resupply this mitochondria fuel.

Doing so is also heart protective since ubiquinol also boosts the mitochondria in the heart.

[I take 100 mg of Jarrow Ubiquinol before breakfast and another before lunch.  And I do the vigorous exercise almost every day also.]

If you also lose mitochondria as you get older, would it also help to grow new ones?

Oh Yes!  Vigorous exercise has been shown to release stem cells that grow new mitochondria.

And, UC Davis researchers found that a food component in kiwi fruit and some other foods called PQQ not only grows new mitochondria it does triage on sick ones.

When you take PQQ your body makes new mitochondria!  AND PQQ restores slightly sick ones to health and PQQ causes very sick or dead and senescent mitochondria to undergo aptosis allowing your body to remove them!

[I take 20 mg a day of Jarrow PQQ to ensure I have that protection.]

*Lastly, growing the neural net and turning off damage and doing the reverse also has two more ways to do it that are proven to work.

Suppose you could put on a special hat that would light up all your brain and turn up the energy in all your interconnections.

Suppose that this hat also turned down your level of stress so the neurotransmitters acute stress releases that block short term memory disappeared.

If you had done the other things to turn off depression, do you think that might help?

It’s been proven to do so.  Stephen Ilardi has shown that people who use it reduce their depression.

But as you may have guessed this method is NOT a high tech hat!  In fact, it’s almost the reverse.  It’s talking to other people!

It’s much more effective if you like the people you talk to and know how to do so while maintaining good feelings and communication.

But how can something that is so easy it can seem effortless light up your whole brain like a Christmas tree?!

Peter Drucker found the exact answer.  He found that people who use their greatest strengths and those of others are most effective.

But he also found that it can be hard sometimes to identify these strength because doing them well is so easy for people highest in them, they find it hard to believe other people cannot do them as easily.

That’s exactly what happens with conversing with people.  You learn it so young and so well, you have great capacity to do it well.  But to the extent you do it well, it feels very easy.

But it still lights up your whole brain to do it!
The other thing is to continually learn new things that interest you or that you find valuable to know.

This takes more effort.  But the people who do it well who either are well educated or like to read and do it often, get such great results in maintaining their neural net by doing this that they tend to stay mentally sharp and often do so well into their nineties. 

People who do both are protected against Alzheimer’s disease.  Studies show that it directly prevents the buildup of beta amyloid.  And, doing these creates such a strong neural net, that it keeps running even if beta amyloid DOES build up other studies have found.

**Next time we will cover ways to feel better and less irritable right away by changing the way your hardware processes data for the better.

In fact, once you read all these posts to get an overview of the game plan, the most effective way to stop depression is likely to be to do most of those fast fixes first.

You can then follow up with the parts you find more challenging that can take a bit to work.

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