New Weapons to Combat Depression

by and | Jan 2, 2018 | Anxiety and Depression, Mental Health

Globally, the World Health Organization estimates that depression affects more than 100 million people. The use of antidepressants is only fully effective in about 30-40 % of depressed person, initially. One-third of depressed individuals remain so, even after using 3 or 4 anti-depressants.1 Now new strategies are emerging as powerful weapons against depression. What are they? Practicing positive activities (PAIs) may serve as an effective, low-cost treatment for people suffering from mild depression.

Positive activity interventions (PAIs) include performing acts of kindness, practicing optimism, writing letters of gratitude, using one’s unique strength to bless others, meditating on one’s positive feelings toward others, and counting one’s blessings. Researchers from Duke University and the University of California combed over decades of research and found that positive activity interventions has the potential to benefit depressed individuals who don’t respond to drug therapy, or, are either unable or unwilling to obtain treatment.

Positive activity interventions are effective in teaching individuals ways to increase their positive thinking, positive affect, and positive behaviors.2 Additionally, PAIs are less expensive to administer, are relatively less time-consuming, promise to yield rapid improvement of mood symptoms, hold little to no stigma, and carry no side effects. One PAI may energize a person to engage in another and even provide a domino effect.3 PAI may provide at least 6 months of relief from mild depression.

We at Wildwood think that PAIs, when combined with regular exercise, a well-balanced, plant-based diet, and the identification and replacement of distorted thought patterns with healthy ones, will be even more effective. (Judicious use of medicine is initially necessary in many cases of severe depression.)


  1. University of California – Riverside. “Restoring happiness in people with depression.” ScienceDaily. 31 July 2011.
  2. Layous Kristin. Delivering Happiness: Translating Positive Psychology Intervention Research for Treating Major and Minor Depressive Disorders. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2011; 17 (8): 675 DOI: 10.1089/acm.2011.0139.
  3. University of California – Riverside. “Restoring happiness in people with depression.” ScienceDaily. 31 July 2011.
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Disclaimer: The information in this article is educational and general in nature. Neither Wildwood Lifestyle Center, its entities, nor author intend this article as a substitute for medical diagnosis, counsel, or treatment by a qualified health professional.

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