Holiday blues are a well-documented phenomenon that affects many people this time of year. Fortunately, many of these “cases” pass after the New Year. But depression–the debilitating illness– remains for some. It is more than a fleeting period of sadness and can last for years–or a lifetime without proper care. The World Health Organization predicts that in 10 years depression will be the second most diagnosed disease in the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 10 percent of Americans are depressed.
Today antidepressants are the most heavily prescribed medications. Once they start on the pills, patients are seldom weaned away from them. The drugs and their side effects are controversial. Some studies suggest they don’t help people with mild to moderate forms of the disease. With more people turning to natural medicine, some healers have found natural medicines and lifestyle changes to be more effective.
In this podcast, we talk with naturopathic physician, Dr. Peter Bongiorno. He is the author of Healing Depression: Naturopathic and Conventional Treatments. Dr. Bongiorno talks about natural treatments for some depressed patients, about the acceptance of naturopathic medicine by conventional physicians, and about the issue of licensing doctors who practice this medicine in New York State.