See Inside August/September 2008

Depressingly Easy

We nuke prepared dishes rather than growing our own food and machine-wash ready-made clothes rather than sewing and scrubbing. Such conveniences may be contributing to rising rates of depression by depriving our brains of their hard-earned rewards

For several decades, the multibillion-dollar antidepressant industry has pointed to imbalances in the neurochemical serotonin as the cause of depression. But research has yet to find convincing evidence that serotonin imbalances represent the indisputable cause of depression, and despite the unprecedented number of pharmacological treatment options available today, depression rates are higher than ever.

If Big Pharma does not have a cure for depression, shouldn’t we pursue a fresh approach to this vexing problem? Could there be a nonpharmacological treatment strategy that would bring relief to the increasing number of people struggling with this mood disorder, for instance? What do we know about how to preserve good mental health? Is it possible to maintain a sense of control over our increasingly stressful daily lives, so that we can refocus our attention on more meaningful psychological endeavors, such as the challenging issues of problem solving and planning for our futures?

This is only a preview. Get the rest of this article now!

Select an option below:

Customer Sign In

*You must have purchased this issue or have a qualifying subscription to access this content

It has been identified that the institution you are trying to access this article from has institutional site license access to Scientific American on
Click here to access this article in its entirety through site license access.

Share this Article:


You must sign in or register as a member to submit a comment.
Scientific American Holiday Sale

Scientific American Mind Digital

Get 6 bi-monthly digital issues
+ 1yr of archive access for just $9.99

Hurry this offer ends soon! >


Email this Article


Next Article