If you are depressed, it is a condition you share with hundreds of thousands of people around Australia, and millions around the world.
In any case, people suffering from depression report a very wide range of symptoms which may or may not include an actual feeling of sadness. Here is a list of the most commonly-reported symptoms:
sadness, fatigue, feeling hopeless, helpless or worthless
feeling enormous guilt, remorse or self-blame
feeling confused and/or having trouble thinking or remembering
losing pleasure in things you once enjoyed
sleep disturbance: sleeping too little, too much, or having very restless sleep
weight changes: losing or gaining weight rapidly
painful relationships with family, friends, or at work
feeling alone or isolated, having lots of thoughts about death or dying
feeling anxious, fearful, or panicky, even to the point of having panic attacks
having physical health problems that no-one seems to be able to solve
For people who have suffered depression all or for much of their life, these things may just seem "normal" and they may not be aware that life could be, should be, so much better.
So How has Depression been Treated up till Now?
Up till now, the most common form of treatment for depression has been none! In fact a recent Australian Government Study (National Health Priority Areas Report - Mental Health) found that 25-75% of cases of depression go undiagnosed by medical practitioners who have opportunity to observe them in their patients!
Where depression has been diagnosed, the most common form of treatment has been medication alone, even in the face of strong advice from pharmaceutical companies that medication is intended to form only part of a comprehensive treatment plan! The same government report mentioned above put the cost of depression treatment, including medication and other therapy, at an average of over $19,000 per person in Australia.
The consensus guidelines for depression treatment recommend a treatment duration of 2-3 years!
And What's New?
What's new is that the most recent research shows that medication and traditional psychotherapeutic approaches (like CBT) could be unnecessary for the successful and very rapid treatment and elimination of depression for most people.
The Lifeworks Group has been researching and developing rapid treatment methods for a variety of psychological conditions over the past 4 years, particularly the rapid and easy treatment of depression.
Late in 2000, Lifeworks ran a clinical trial of a non-drug depression treatment with a group of 15 Perth people. This program was very different from anything done before in the history of psychology because it did not depend on people being "treated". Instead, participants were taught to use extraordinarily simple neuro-somatic techniques to take charge of their own treatment.
This is absolutely in line with Lifeworks philosophy that people are not broken, that healing can be quick and easy, and that people can be empowered to heal with joy.
After just 6 days of the trial, 90% of the women and 75% of the men no longer met the medical criteria for depression.
This is not to say that people no longer have problems once the depression is eliminated. On the contrary, a common discovery is that quite significant problems do exist in ones life and that these are now clear and solvable. It is surprising how much energy and clarity you have once the burden of depression has lifted!
How Does This Help Me?
Lifeworks runs a mental health clinic and also trains professionals and the general public in its groundbreaking, researched techniques. It has also made available a tremendous amount of free resources for people to learn as much as they can:
An internet chat group for people with depression commenced April 2001. To subscribe, just send a blank email to
People with depression are encouraged to write in with questions so that a Q & A section can be added to this web site. Write to
Lifeworks has published 3 manuals on some of the innovative techniques we use and put them on this site for free. Click on "products" in the menu line above.
Lifeworks informs professionals all around the world in the most up-to-date treatment methods via its electronic journal, Power Tips.
A community education officer is available to speak with local groups about depression and modern treatment methods. The aim of this is to de-stigmatise depression so that depressed people are better cared for by an informed community.
Lifeworks runs on-going research trials to test the application of its approaches to a wide variety of problems. Currently we have a trial in progress with a group of "at risk" children at a local high school. We also hope to run trials on: Anxiety Disorder, OCD, ADD/ADHD and Suicide Prevention. So far Lifeworks has privately funded all of its own research, with no government or other funding whatsoever.
Other Considerations in Treating Depression
At Lifeworks we also recognise the importance of identifying and treating organic causes of depression.
We all know that there really is no "division" between mind and body. Each of us is, in fact, a "bodymind" and much more besides. Changes in our body chemistry affect changes in our thinking and feeling, and changes in our thinking and feeling affect our body chemistry.
It is not surprising then that someone with depression, or an anxiety disorder, or dissociated identity disorder might also experience deficiencies in mineral or hormone levels in the body. And this is indeed what we often find when a proper investigation and blood workup is done by a qualified person such as a medical doctor specialising in nutrition and blood chemistry. (Please note that there are very few medical practitioners properly qualified or experienced to undertake this -- check carefully before you refer. For example, standard accepted ranges for thyroxine are now considered so broad as to be a poor indicator of thyroid function. An individual can be suffering chronic fatigue and still be on the low end of "normal", but that is not "normal" for that person.)
Although we have no way of knowing which came first, chemistry or emotional problem, we do know we get faster and more thorough gains when we address both.
For instance, it is common to find zinc deficiency in cases of depression, sleep disorders, anorexia nervosa, or alcoholism. Certainly the emotional factors need to be addressed, and in addition to that the person needs to take a high quality zinc supplement (get it from a qualified practitioner, not from a health food store).
It is also common to find that a person presenting with depression, confusion, or fatigue is in fact drinking almost no water! Tea, coffee, soft drinks and alcohol all strip the body of water and so do not count!
If you'd like a greater appreciation of the organic causes of mental health problems, please take a look at
This is a most informative site, even including an entire medical evaluation field manual put together by staff at the Stanford University Medical Center.
Another Great Site for Depression Facts and News
has been voted Australia's Number 1 Ranking Health Site. Please take a look at this dedicated site and even subscribe to their free newsletter.
Article submitted by Christine Sutherland, http://www.lifeworks-group.com.au/
Added Jul 2, 2001
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