I'm reminded of heroic imbiber Winston Churchill, who was afflicted with what I believe he termed the "black dog" of depression throughout his life. Did his drinking help or make things worse? It's so very difficult figuring out causal relations re the origins and treatment of psychic distress.
I certainly distrust the pharmaceutical companies, which are ever more driven by marketing rather than research (I recommend the NY Times excellent article of Aug. 27, "What's Black And White And Sells Medicine" by Melody Petersen, re this). Obviously, though, there's also good reason also to be wary of self-treatment via exercise and diet-supplement nostrums like St. John's Wort.
I guess if one is really incapacitated by depression, the wisest course is to throw one's self on the mercy of the pharmaceutical makers and hope for the best. However, absent incapacitation, there is much to be said for the much-reviled-in-this-thread home remedy of taking a long walk, buttressed by the time-honored self-medication of a drink or a toke. Ultimately, I don't think there's any enduring cure for depression. Freud himself noted that a person freed from neurosis would simply be better in touch with the normal everyday sorrow of the world -- sorrow that's certainly aggravated by the depredations of capitalism but is rooted in the agony of mortality and other existential problems. I believe that the more intelligent you are, the better your chances of perceiving that sorrow to an acutely painful degree. In short, the only lasting cure for depression is stupidity, IMHO.
Carl _________________________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com.
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