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Gentle Ways To Overcome Depression

8 depressed as winter

8 depressed as winter comes, bringing with it less daylight. Scientists speculate the reason for this involves a hormonal change when less light is received by the retina of the eye. Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal, director of light therapy studies at the National Institute of Mental Health and one of the first to identify SAD as a syndrome, offers these suggestions for introducing more light during the winter: • Redecorating—painting walls white and recarpeting with light-colored floor coverings, avoiding dark paneling. • Adding Light Fixtures—especially more intense lighting, such as halogen lamps, to the home. • Landscaping—cutting back trees, hedges and shrubs from the windows to admit more natural light. • Relocating—moving into a home that has big windows and a south or east exposure. 5 Listen to Music “Listening to music has a powerful effect on people’s moods,” says Neal Barnard, M.D., president of the Physician Committee

for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C. His observation is backed up by one study in which people who listened to music reduced their stress-hormone levels by 41 percent. Interestingly, the use of music to alter depressive moods is also cited in the Bible. There, the first king of Israel, Saul, suffered from severe depressive mood swings, often sinking into deep black moods, which also frightened those around him that they said an “distressing [evil] spirit” was tormenting him (1 Samuel 16:14). Saul’s aides, which presumably include some with medical knowledge, made this suggestion: “Let our master now command your servants, who are before you, to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp; and it shall be that he will play it … and you shall be well” (verse 16). The king’s servants found a young boy named David who was a skilled harpist. David entered Saul’s service as the royal musician. The account reports: “Whenever the [evil] spirit… was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him” (verse 23). 9