Oz is joined by a pioneer of holistic health, Dr. Andrew Weil. Dr. Weil will reveal his personal struggle with depression, how he was able to overcome it without using medication and the epidemic of depression in America.
Dr. Weil will be sharing his secrets to happiness. He will describe his incredible four week plan to finding happiness that took a life long battle with depression for him to discover. They will also discuss the two major reasons there is a depression epidemic in America.
4 WEEK PLAN FOR HAPPINESS FACT SHEET
WHY DID DR. WEIL DECIDE TO OPEN UP ABOUT HIS OWN BATTLE WITH DEPRESSION?
Dr. Weil found out that depression was the number one concern of his followers, and he learned that more than 1 in 10 Americans are now on some form of anti-depressant drugs. It became clear to him that there is an epidemic of depression in America and he thought it was time to share how he learned to manage his own depression and create emotional wellness for himself.
DID DR. WEIL EVER GO ON ANTI-DEPRESSANT MEDICATION?
Once in his early 40s, he filled a prescription for an antidepressant, but gave it up after a few days
because he could not tolerate its effects. It numbed his body and mind.
ACCORDING TO DR. WEIL THERE ARE TWO MAJOR REASONS WHY THERE IS AN EPIDEMIC
OF DEPRESSION IN THIS COUNTRY:
A significant portion of depression cases have been manufactured by the medical industry,
prescribing antidepressant drugs is too often a quick and easy substitute for developing
treatment plans that address the totality of health concerns.
Lifestyle changes have altered brain function: we spend more time indoors, eat food altered
from its natural sources, and we’re in information overload with email, cell phones, and
ACCORDING TO DR. WEIL SPONTANEOUS HAPPINESS MEANS:
Happiness can’t be found from an outside source, but arises spontaneously from within us. He believes that it’s unrealistic to be happy all the time. It is normal to experience a range of moods and emotions that are both positive and negative.
WHAT IS THE KEY TO DR. WEIL’S 4-WEEK PLAN TO HAPPINESS?
Whether you are prone to depression or not, this plan will help everyone develop a greater emotional well-being through simple lifestyle changes. Dr. Weil wants to make it clear to anyone suffering from major depression, that this does not serve as a substitute for the medication or medical care you are receiving and you should consult with your doctor before starting this plan.
WEEK 1: ALL ABOUT CUTTING BACK, STARTING WITH CAFFEINE
WHY IS CUTTING BACK ON CAFFEINE SO IMPORTANT?
Addiction to coffee and other forms of caffeine can affect your moods and can aggravate depression.
HOW MUCH CAFFEINE DOES SOMEONE WHO CONSUMES IT MULTIPLE TIMES PER DAY NEED TO CUT OUT DURING THIS FIRST WEEK?
If you drink coffee or other forms of caffeine every day, try going cold turkey for 2 full days to see if you have a withdrawal reaction. If you notice you are dependent on the caffeine you need to cut it out all together. Try swapping coffee for oolong tea, diet soda for sparkling water with lemon.
THE NEXT THING YOU WANT PEOPLE TO CUT BACK ON DURING THIS 1ST WEEK IS
ARTIFICIAL FOODS: WHAT ARE THESE AND HOW DO THEY AFFECT MOOD?
Artificial foods are refined, processed, and manufactured foods. These foods can promote inflammation within the body and lead to chronic disease and it appears they can also promote depression.
WEEK 2: FOCUS ON RE-BALANCING YOUR MOODS, STARTING WITH ADDING A MOOD-BALANCING SUPPLEMENT COCKTAIL
WHAT’S IN THIS SUPPLEMENT COCKTAIL?
- FISH OIL: 600 MG a day of a product that provides both EPA and DHA. Take them on a full stomach. If you get fish-flavored burps, try keeping the product in the freezer and swallowing frozen capsules.
- VITAMIN D: take 1000 IU with your largest meal. You will not absorb it well if there is no fat in your digestive tract.
- MULTIVITAMIN: 400 mcg of folic acid, at least 50mg of vitamin B-6, and 100 mcg of vitamin B-12. Take it after an ample meal to ensure absorption and avoid indigestion.
DR. WEIL ALSO WANTS PEOPLE TO START RE-ESTABLISHING SOCIAL CONNECTIONS DURING THIS WEEK, WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT?
Social connections like friendships are vital. Being able to share experiences is key to happiness. You often get so caught up in things that you start to lose friendships that were once such an important part of your life. He wants people to take this week to rebuild those bonds that may have broken, and also build new connections with people you meet.
WEEK 3: REDUCE THE INFORMATION OVERLOAD
DR. WEIL RECOMMENDS PLACING A CURFEW ON YOUR CELL PHONE AND COMPUTER. HOW
DOES THIS HELP?
Put a curfew on your information overload. After 8 pm, no cell phone or internet. Anyone can do this for a week and feel its effects. Doing this will allow your brain to rest.
WHAT ELSE CAN HELP YOU REDUCE THE EFFECTS OF INFORMATION OVERLOAD?
Getting outside and reconnecting with nature will help you eliminate distractions. Not doing this often enough can put you at risk for depression.
WEEK 4: DR. WEIL WANTS PEOPLE TO START EXPERIMENTING WITH NATURAL ANTI-DEPRESSANT TECHNIQUES
WHY SHOULD PEOPLE WAIT UNTIL THE 4TH WEEK TO START TRYING THESE?
The past 3 weeks were focused on setting the groundwork for strong emotional well-being. Now that you have built the foundation you are now ready to start incorporating additional strategies.
THE FIRST THING YOU WANT PEOPLE TO TRY ARE HERBAL REMEDIES, WHAT ARE THESE
AND WHO ARE THEY BEST FOR?
- Ashwagandha: It’s also known as Indian ginseng. Has anti-anxiety and mood-elevating properties.
- SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine): Has the advantage of working more quickly than St John's Wort. Use only the butanedisulfonate form in enteric-coated tablets, or in capsules. Try 400 to 1,600 mg a day on an empty stomach.
- Rhodiola: This is less well-known for treatment of depression, but a study published in 2007 in the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry showed that patients with mild-to-moderate depression who took a rhodiola extract reported fewer symptoms than those who took a placebo.
DURING THIS LAST WEEK DR. WEIL RECOMMENDS TRYING ACUPUNCTURE OR DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE. HOW CAN THESE TECHNIQUES HELP YOUR MOOD?
A few studies have shown that acupuncture can be a useful treatment for mild to moderate depression. Deep tissue massage helps drop levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, which will help relax you and feel happier.
THE LAST THING YOU WANT PEOPLE TO TRY IS SOMETHING EVERYONE CAN DO RIGHT
NOW: ADJUSTING YOUR POSTURE, HOW IS YOUR POSTURE CONNECTED TO YOUR MOOD?
Your posture can directly reflect your mood. An example is “closed heart syndrome” where the chest
sinks and the heart area collapses, which makes the breath shallow and slow. The upper spine and shoulders round, as though to protect the heart from disappointment.
HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE TO BOOST MOOD?
One of the easiest things to adjust is your posture through a simple deep breathing technique, which can help to open and lengthen the upper thoracic spine and chest area.