The research is in. What you put in your mouth can provide a nice boost to your mood, or make you not to fun to be around. Researchers think brain foods such as those containing omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and important amino acids like tryptophan cause changes to some fats in brain membranes, helping certain chemicals to pass through. That’s what happened in the laboratory rats in a study at McLean Hospital, explains Chris Illiades, M.D., in a recent Everyday Health article.


Both David Burns (bestselling author of “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy“ and Abraham Low (founder of Recovery, Inc.) teach techniques to analyze negative thoughts (or identify distorted thinking — what psychologists call “cognitive distortions”) so to be able to disarm and defeat them. This is one of the major precepts of cognitive behavioral therapy.

Since Low’s language is a bit out-dated, I list below Burns’ “Ten Forms of Twisted Thinking,” (adapted from his “Feeling Good” book, a classic read) categories of dangerous ruminations, that when identified and brought into your consciousness, lose their power over you. They have been helpful in my recovery from depression and anxiety. After I identify them, I consult his 15 Ways to Untwist Your Thinking.

Most of us have moments or short periods of sadness when we feel lonely or depressed. These sensations are usually normal ones that sometimes occur in life. They can be the result of a recent loss, having a particularly challenging day or week, or a reaction to a hurtful comment. However, when feelings of sadness and being unable to cope overwhelm the person, so much so that they undermine their ability to live a normal and active life, it is possible that they have what is known as a major depressive disorder (MDD), also calledclinical depressionunipolar depression or major depression. Informally, the condition is simply referred to as depression.

Everyone has tough days and for some the days seem to be a never ending string of murkiness. All of our mental afflictions, stress, anxiety, depression, addictive urges and trauma responses are experienced as contractions in the body. An antidote to this would naturally be opening the body up and that is one among many reasons why yoga can be helpful. But to take it one step further, laughter opens our bodies up, vibrates core areas where the stuck energy resides while simultaneously igniting resiliency centers of the brain.

Do yourself a favor, simply watch this 3-minute video and see what you notice:

Depression is quite complicated. It entails a host of symptoms that perplex even the savviest therapist. Depression is even more complicated in children and men because the expression of symptoms is not as clear-cut for them as it is for others. Nonetheless, depression is one of those “diseases” that requires a compassionate, caring, knowledgeable, and understanding individual to identify it. Families, caregivers, and friends who suspect a loved one experiencing depression ought to know that depression can entail lots of symptoms. Sadly, many people believe depression is a sad mood, bad mood, or negative thinking that can be overcome through will power. This is not always the case. Depression often requires treatment.

Trauma therapy includes confronting fears and going back to the source of your pain. Here are several strategies to help people who have been through traumatic experiences and painful losses.


A study of 122 adults in Ireland showed that those with MDD and high suicidal ideation had significantly higher levels of inflammation (as shown through blood draws) than both those with MDD and low suicidal ideation and healthy peers without MDD.