Small steps, big difference

Major depression means major treatment, self-help books, counseling sessions, antidepressants and more.

That's what mainstream doctors will tell you, and they'll quickly write a prescription for an antidepressant drug or refer you to intensive counseling sessions.

Some docs will set you up with both.

But before you crack open that pill bottle... before you even make that phone call to schedule your counseling... before you do anything else, there's a much simpler step you can take right now in the comfort of your own home.

Crack open a book.

Self-help books and even self-help websites can often do exactly what the name suggests, helping you to help yourself -- and that's even true in the most severe cases of depression.

In fact, one new study of self-help books and websites,  finds that these basic techniques can actually do more for major depression than they can for milder cases.

The review of 16 studies involving a combined 2,470 depressed patients finds that these "low intensity" techniques can lead to improvements in depression scores of four or five points overall when compared to control groups -- and in the most severe depression cases, people can expect to see an extra point in improvement from self-help books.

It's not a huge difference. But it is a difference -- and it's an important one, since one of the biggest problems in major depression is getting the patient to seek help in the first place.

The fact that these techniques are readily available in anyone's living room makes it that much easier to get started on a path to recovery.

Of course, these self-help books may not work for everyone. And when they do work, they may lead to improvements, but not an outright cure.

And in those cases, you still don't need to rush out for drugs or counseling. (Not to mention, rushing out for those drugs could be the LAST thing you ever do. Click here to find out why.)

When depression has an obvious cause such as loss, you can often find the help you need in time with loved ones, prayer, and nondrug treatments including homeopathic solutions and supplements like 5-htp.

When there is no obvious cause for the depression, however, you'll need a little more help -- because those cases usually involve a nutritional problem, undiagnosed food sensitivities, or hormonal imbalances.

Your cure for that will depend on the cause. Seek a holistic physician for testing and treatment. And for complete testing and treatment in the Southern California area stop by my clinic. Visit my website for more information.