Q & A
Hints for Speeding Your Recovery from
By Ivan K. Goldberg, M.D.
Dr. Ivan’s web site]
In addition to psychotherapy and
medication, the following are some simple things which will help
speed your recovery from depression. The more of them that you
can make yourself to do, the faster you are likely to feel
Do not remain in bed or sleep for more
than 8-hours a day. Over-sleeping has been shown to increase
Get outside for at least 1/2-hour
between 11 AM and 2 PM. Bright light has been shown to have
an antidepressant effect. Getting out of doors even on a
moderately overcast day gives you the light you require.
Walk briskly, or get some other
exercise, for at least 30-minutes every day. Taking a walk
out of doors between 11 AM and 2 PM takes care of both your
need for bright light and your need for exercise.
Totally abstain from the use of alcohol
and recreational drugs. . Alcohol and street drugs both
induce depression and prevent antidepressants from working
effectively. If you must drink, limit your intake of alcohol
to not more than three units of alcohol PER WEEK. (A unit of
alcohol is a 12 oz. bottle of beer, a 4-oz. glass of wine,
or a 1-1/2 oz. shot of whisky.) Totally avoid the use of
Increase the amount of Omega-3 fatty
acids in your diet. . There is highly suggestive evidence
that increasing one's intake of EPA, one of the Omega-3
fatty acids, helps recovery from depression. This can be
done most easily by taking a supplement that contains 600
mg. or 1,000 mg. of EPA in each capsule. The total daily
intake of EPA should be about 5,000 mg., and it should be
divided into three or four doses each day. Capsules
containing EPA can be purchased in any "health food" store.
Avoid the use of products that contain
aspartame (Equal® or NutraSweet®). It has been shown that
many people with depression become more depressed when they
use these products.