(CBS) If you think depression can be "solved" simply by swallowing a pill, Dr. Stephen S. Ilardi has something to say to you:
Dr. Ilardi, associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, calls depression "a disease of modernity," and says that one of the keys to preventing and treating the disease is to avoid the elements of the modern lifestyle that can lead to depression and make it worse.
" Like obesity, diabetes, and atherosclerosis, depression can be considered an illness of lifestyle," he told CBS News. "These diseases are epidemic because our bodies are not adapted to the modern, sedentary, indoor, sleep-deprived, fast food-laden, socially isolated lives that we lead."Dr. Ilardi is quick to point out that psychotherapy and antidepressants can often be helpful in treating depression. But he says many people - doctors included - tend to overlook the risk posed by certain habits and behaviors. When steps are taken to avoid these lifestyle "traps," the results can be very powerful.
"It revolutionized my clinical practice," Dr. Ilardi says. "I was seeing patients with chronic, severe, and treatment-refractory depression recover. I truly did not expect that."
Dr. Ilardi wrote about his experience in "The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Prrogram to Beat Depression without Drugs."
One in four Americans will experience a major clinical depression at some point, according to Dr. Ilardi. Since the disorder can be life-threatening, he says, it's essential that anyone experiencing it should consult a doctor.
But if you're depressed - or you know someone who is - you'll want to take a look at these
You'll feel better just knowing them.