Should You Use 5-HTP for Depression?


5-HTP stands for ‘5-hydroxytryptophan’ and is a naturally occurring precursor to serotonin. To put that in plainer English, 5-HTP is a substance that increases the amount of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is the ‘feel good hormone’ we associate with good moods and happiness. To do this, 5-HTP essentially provides one of the key building blocks that our bodies use to create it. This makes 5-HTP...

Does Low Testosterone Cause Depression?


Testosterone is the male sex hormone and is responsible for the development of many traits that we consider ‘masculine’. Testosterone will encourage fat loss and muscle development for instance, causing men to appear more muscular and sinewy. Likewise, testosterone increases sex drive, it increases aggression and it improves energy levels. All these things can help men to thrive and...

How to Pull Yourself Out of a Depression


If you are vulnerable to depression, it would be wise to develop an action plan you can implement when you begin to sink. You could even give it a name — your ‘Emergency Plan’, or ‘Plan D’, for example. Whatever form it takes, it should include some, or all, of the following. Be very strict about what you eat Even the most cautious let their diet slip when things are...

How to Improve Your Mood by Changing Your Diet


It is well known that exercise, sunshine and friendship improve mood, but the impact diet can have is frequently underestimated. Rather than taking anti-depressants, it would be both cheaper and healthier to change what you eat and drink. This is especially true for those who inhabit the rich, western nations. For example, the citizens of Western Europe and North America consume a great deal of...

Treating Depression With Lithium


Depression is a serious condition that has many negative consequences and that in severe cases can be life threatening even. Suffering from depression can lead to sleeping problems, lifestyle changes, stress, poor diet and in the worst case scenarios eventually suicide. Treating depression then is highly important and this should consist both of therapy in order to address the root cause of the...

A Review of the Lumie Starter 30 for SAD Treatment and Improved Energy


The Lumie Starter 30 is an alarm that has been designed to wake the user with a gradually increasing light that mimics the appearance of the rising sun and provides the right spectrum of light to increase energy levels, mood and performance. This promises to be a useful tool for anyone who struggles to wake up in the morning, who feels low during winter or who suffers from SAD. What Is SAD? SAD...

When Someone You Love Has Depression


Few things are more dreadful than seeing someone you love in pain. And this is especially true of depression, which often strikes without warning or reason. When someone breaks a leg or comes down with the flu, people know how to help. Depression, on the other hand, often leaves them bewildered and frightened. After all, when someone you love refuses to get out of bed and cannot stop crying, it...

Different Theories on Depression


Winston Churchill called it his “black dog,” while the novelist Joseph Conrad thought of it as a demon. Indeed, the list of famous people to have suffered from depression is long: Sigmund Freud, Abraham Lincoln, Emily Dickinson, John Lennon, T.S. Eliot, Buzz Aldrin and countless others. But what is depression? Surprisingly, there is no clear answer, only different theories. Pre-Modern...

The History of Depression


As the British novelist L. P. Hartley famously observed, “the past is a foreign country, they do things differently there,” and we must indeed be wary of projecting modern experience onto people who did not think and act as we do. And yet, though beliefs and assumptions have changed, the human body has not. Physically we are no different to a Roman emperor or a Neolithic hunter. If...

When Life Gets You Down: Dealing With Situational Depression


For some, depression is caused by genetics. For others, it is the result of a traumatic life event, such as bereavement, infidelity, or financial meltdown. This is known as “situational depression” and, though it may be normal and natural, that does not make it any less painful. Signs of Depression If you are experiencing, or have experienced, depression, you are not alone. According...

Mark Goddard, Ph.D.

Mark Goddard, Ph.D.

Mark Goddard, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and a consultant specializing in the social-personality psychology. His publications include magazine chapters, articles and self-improvement books on CBT for anxiety, stress and depression. In his spare time, he enjoys reading about political and social history.

*The views expressed by Mr. Goddard in this column are his own, are not made in any official capacity, and do not represent the opinions of his employers.