Fido’s Fast Fix for the Blues

Have you ever noticed how seems to be absolutely thrilled when there is something to dig up out of the ground or a squirrel to chase? He is totally engaged, tail wagging, movements are focused and quick. He is demonstrating unbridled enthusiasm!

Enthusiasm is how the late great neuroscientist, Jaak Panksepp described the SEEKING system (which he capitalized for clinical purposes). He identified Seeking as the “master” emotion underlying all actions. The circuit of the brain that is engaged when the hound is on the trail of the fox is one that we share with our furry brethren, as we do all primal emotional systems.

As we have noticed in our four footed friends, the experience of Seeking itself is highly pleasurable. The system runs on dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter.

What you find is pleasurable only temporarily. Seeking is deactivated once the thing you are seeking is found. To continue fueling that fun, this activity must be ongoing – as goals are met, new ones need to emerge. So, the most instantly pleasurable seeking activity is one in which the searched-for items are numerous or ever-present.

When we feel depressed, we are inclined to wallow passively, often watching tv or mindlessly surfing social media. But passive activity of this nature does not engaging the seeking system. What’s more, heavy recreational internet use is correlated with depression.

When you feel down, it’s time to engage in some active goal-oriented activity. And to get your body into it in a physically active way double down on the dopamine, as physical activity provides an additional boost of this beneficial neurotransmitter.

So what are some activities that steer clear of the internet and engage our seeking system with continuity, and incorporate some physical activity?

Foraging– Looking for certain things out in nature such as plants, rocks, mushrooms or arrowheads (please photograph these and leave them).This activity is excellent for ongoing stimulation of the seeking system, because you are on a continuous search and the goals are endless

Birdwatching – get a copy of Backyard Birds and comb the neighborhood for familiar feathered friends (and not so) whose names you never knew.

Bookstore Browsing – Have a subject that interests you? Rather than scroll through Amazon, get out and over to your local bookstore. See how many books you can find that tackle your topic.

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Flea Market Finds – Big box stores can be dreary due to their homogenous offerings, and there is an efficiency to their organization that doesn’t engage the active searching. Flea markets and thrift stores are a different story, as merchandise is unique and often surprising.

Sort Out Old Stuff – Go to your storage space and tackle that files of old papers or disorganized cds and engage yourself in nostalgia as you discover music you once loved or relive pleasant memories. This activity has the added benefit or organizing out your life, which in itself is uplifting. You could also comb your over-packed closet for things you will never wear again and bag these up for donation.

So here are a few ideas to alleviate a temporary depressed mood by engaging our natural and hard-wired love of searching and adventure.

A caveat – clinical depression is a different story. If you have the blues for 2 weeks or more without an obvious cause, it’s probably time to seek counseling. But if you need to jolt yourself out of the temporary blahs, get out the door on a quest for something, anything that engages the enthusiasm inherent in the SEEKING system!

7 Steps to Get out of the Your Procrastination State (and get your Creative Juices Flowing)

I think I have some reasonably good ideas pertaining to understanding and working with parts of self. In fact, I have an ongoing project that I am undertaking around this topic which fulfills me intellectually and spiritually and that I hope will help both my patients and myself. During the course of any given day, I might have insights and ideas pertaining to this project that I will jot down into one of my many composition books, or if one is not within arms reach, a random slip of paper. For some reason, in bed at night I tend have the most profound ideas, and often I can even muster the discipline to turn on the light grab my comp book and make a note.

Multiple-Personality-DisorderYet, when I am ready to sit down and write, to pull it all together, one of my parts emerges with a vengeance and dominates my personality. It is Procrastination. When under the spell of Procrastination, have a sudden urge to do anything but work. In fact in between this sentence and the last, one of my parts, Ms. Procrastination, compelled me to spend 17 minutes scrolling Facebook.  So what is it about the task of having to write that is so damn painful that I have to distract myself with something mindless, and how to I switch out of this state?

It is as if the sensation of this part is physically holding you back from what you know to be the greater good, that it is dead-set on keeping you away from what you are doing and attending to it. Most of us know that Procrastination is a member of our internal family, and it may seem a more formidable sub-personality in people trying to produce creative content. In me Procrastination is characterized by a daunting feeling of futility that sets in when I get the idea to start the project, as well as a desire for instant gratification. It’s as if she’s telling me that the hard work I am considering embarking on won’t result in anything and why not just enjoy myself?

I also think also many of us who want to be create content, start businesses, or produce art are daunted by the sheer productivity of famous people who really are doing so. A best-selling author recently said that he gets up early, and works non-stop “as hard as I can” for 16 hours. Elon Musk, arguably the most productive person on the planet, also works continually and needs less sleep than the average person – 6 hours or so. I have heard tell of some insanely productive people are blessed with the need for as little as 3-4 hours a night.

But most of us don’t live this super-productive paradigm. This admission is realistic, as is the notion that most of us will never be Elon Musk. However that doesn’t mean we can’t be productive and create content of significance or beauty in it’s own right, and maybe even that will improve the world. But to do this, however, means to overcome the negative state of mind that besets us when we embark on something that requires us to be actively involved in the difficulty of creating something, rather than engaging in the vicarious thrill of passively experiencing the inner world of Elon in this Joe Rogan interview.

So, we need a plan to gently put Procrastination aside for a period of time. And in the spirit of us all contributing to the self-and-world improvement project I will share some strategies.

1. Schedule a Block of Time

This is something that everyone who gives productivity advice tells you. You need to schedule writing time. And there is a reason for this. Because it works. The first step in convincing yourself to work is to schedule it as necessary – as if it is part of your job.

Graham Green, one of the 20th century’s most notable authors would work religiously from 8-12, then take the rest of the day off. Naturally, as I often do, I must mention Robert Pirsig, the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, who rose in the middle of the night to work on his great autobiographical novel before going to his job in the morning. Herman Melville, EB White and many of the greats had a set routine for writing.

No question a routine is necessary, which for practical purposes can manifest as a set block of time. But how much time? It has been demonstrated that approximately 3 hours in a day is the maximum amount of time you can fully concentrate on anything and still remain productive. This is heartening, because it means you can relieve yourself of the notion that of devoting excessive amounts of time to your project will make you more virtuous.

So, why not have 1 hour a day that you devote to your creative endeavor. Most of us can manage this. Then, perhaps try those 3 optimal hours of production on the weekend. Think of these slots as necessary parts of your day, and schedule them on your calendar

2. Turn Off the internet

I could go into detail as to why this is a non-negotiable step in the process of avoiding procrastination, but I think we all know the reasoning behind this critical of steps. You can access all manner of data and scientific evidence of the detrimental impact of excessive interaction with your phone.

Let’s make no bones about it. The internet, and social media in particular is the biggest time suck there is. And it’s extremely addictive. Listen to these giants of tech expound on the problematic nature of social media:

So, enough said about this step. It is necessary.

3. Use Active Imagination

The great psychologist Carl Jung forced himself to sit alone in his office for 2 hours a day, and allow his imagination to run wild. The result of many years of this regular practice was his masterpiece, “The Red Book”. His dedication to this block of time to just be with his unconscious resulted, after several years, in a work of profound psychological depth and beauty.

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Sit there in front of your screen or notebook, and rather that becoming frustrated with lack of creativity. Just sit with your mind and let your unconscious take over. Keep the project in mind, but don’t distress if your mind wanders a bit. If you have the goal in mind, have faith that the unconscious will help you if you give it some leeway.

4. Have a Related Side Project

Say you are really stuck. Your frustration or blankness is simply too impenetrable. A good antidote to pursue a fairly rote or even mindless task that has to be done pertaining to your project so the aggravation of having to produce ideas from the blue is temporarily assuaged.

A good strategy for me to use during my scheduled time is making notes from a book that I need to read and digest for the project anyway. Some other examples of segueing into a related project if, say, you are working on something artistic, would be to sketch out related images, or practicing scales or a song you are otherwise trying to master, if working on something musical. Or your could organize your paperwork, review your notes or again, if writing or doing videography, just do a little fine tuning or editing of what you have so far.

This approach solves 2 problems: 1. You aren’t faced with a blank sheet, blank surface and a blank mind, you actually are using your scheduled time and it does not require any exceptional creativity to make notes. 2. It keeps you away from filling that gap with those oh-so-familiar distractions you rationalize as “productive”, such as pairing your socks, doing the dishes, or cleaning the dust bunnies from under your couch.

5. Sub-Schedule a Break

Depending how long you plan to work, schedule a mid-way break. If you are working longer than an hour, schedule quarterly breaks. For example, every 45 minutes, give yourself 5 minutes to unwind, do a few reps with hand weights or run up and down the stairs, play with your cat, make a short personal call…again anything but getting on the internet!! Don’t go down that Rabbit Hole! But do give yourself a chance to regroup and then return at least partially refreshed.

6. Reward

“Give yourself a reward engages our basic instincts for something pleasurable at the end of a period of difficulty.

Graham Green, who I previously mentioned, would finish his work at 12pm, then go for daiquiris before lunch and spend the afternoon lunching with friends. Now, remember Green was writing in the middle part of the 20th century, where views of alcohol consumption were quite different. Think Mad Men. So obviously, I don’t recommend alcohol as a reward, but I do recommend scheduling a fun event, a romantic interlude, taking a walk in the park, a healthy snack like a Keto fat bomb, or if you have a regular practice – a meditation session. Which brings me to…

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7. Meditation

Yes, I know I continually recommend meditation, but there’s a reason. This is a practice that will both decrease the occurrence of negative emotion bubbling to the surface (including that depressive feeling of futility) and increase your capacity for concentration. All creative souls should have a meditation practice of some sort. So get in the habit of this – start with 5 minutes, use an app like Headspace, or a wonderful personal neurofeedback device called Muse.

While you can incorporate meditation in the breaks or as a reward (if you are so inclined), it is really an ongoing support of your project. It is also a method to care for the mind and the soul that has demonstrated with robust evidence as to it’s positive benefit across all domains of life.

It is also important to be aware of your capacity for distraction and for the characteristic negative feelings toward difficult creative tasks from your Procrastination part that prevent you from working. With meditation comes the increased skill of mindfulness that we can use to notice Procrastination and gently ask her to let us be for now, that we will get to her needs for more passive entertainments when we are through.

So there you have it. 7 ways to tackle this substantial and mostly universal state called Procrastination. Surely there are countless additions to this list, but these tend to work for me so far. And remember, the state of Procrastination is one that most of us have in our cast of inner characters. Like any of our troublesome parts, she needs to be respected and worked with, not against. If we malign any of our states and try to get rid of them; to suppress them, they will furtively find a way to undermine us…like those 17 minutes of Facebook, because I “somehow” forgot to put the iPad on airplane mode!!

An Ancient Antidote to Click-Bait

The internet has created a hyperlinked and hyperefficient world. It is a world where you can access the sum total of Western knowledge with a few keystrokes; it’s a world where is a world in which all physical needs of all people can, through technology, soon be met. In fact, it looks as if poverty in the material sense could be alleviated globally. There are many upsides to the the digital networking that characterizes our world.

But there is a major downsides, and most these trade offs are psychological in nature, imho. Online activity, especially using social media, likely decreases our attention span and increases our anxiety. The virtual world is a more immediately gratifying and entertaining substitute for real interaction. Socialization, in the form of social media feeds full of highlights, and the ease of swiping comparatively ordinary people away on Tinder puts an idealized and simplistic spin on real people and real life. Also, social media is addictive, as platforms like Facebook are formulated to be so, relying on the dopamine “kicks” of instant gratification and validation…and more ominously, it appears that the flow of information we are getting from the media can program our opinions.

Conspiracy? Not exactly. Much of the media, forced into click-baity, polarizing sensationalism by i-economics has become far removed from impartial journalistic integrity it once possessed. Algorithms detecting our clicks operate in microseconds with A-B testing; tracking what we click on versus what we don’t and bolstering more of what we do click on, which becomes a microcosm or “bubble”. News is fake and facts don’t matter. The narrative is so customized and reinforced by the assent of our friends, that it is almost impossible to understand we are in the bubble.

However, I believe there is an antidote. And it’s one you’ve heard frequently – a regular meditation practice of some kind. Why? This is a practice that, by virtue of its nature, forces you into the moment. As each thought carries us off, we redirect and that redirection teaches us, ultimately on a neurobiological level, to stay focused – a boon for navigating the internet and not being carried away by clickbait! But more importantly, the actual being in the moment is what allows us to evaluate our experience as it happens. This is a state of mind that, if cultivated through regular practice, allows us to evaluate information with what Zen Buddhists call the “beginners mind” – fresh, and not fraught with associations and biases.

Robert Pirsig, who wrote the very influential “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” in a classic interview in 1974, suggested that we need to practice non-doing (meditation) as well as doing, and be good at both and use whichever one as appropriate. “When you get both of them in a mixture back and forth, you live a much fuller life”. Analyzing, clicking and reacting is doing; sometimes we need to step back and notice, non-judgmentally, this influx of information. That is non-doing.

Dr. Eric Dodson, a professor of psychology and practicing Zen Buddhist, sees meditation as being able to connect to the basis of intelligence – the receptivity of the present moment – can handle incoming information more “harmoniously”, as opposed to our standard cognitive intelligence, which analyzes and judges reactively. Says Dodson, “A mind that is always whirring frenetically is not likely to perceive the reality of the present moment clearly and accurately”. And is more prone to suggestion..

It’s all the more important in the post-internet world to be able to look at the world through the beginner’s mind, through the Zen state of receptivity. I fear if we don’t have access to this state of non-doing, to this alternative intelligence, to this beginners mind, we are going to be continued to be bobbing helplessly on waves of addictive digital constructs.

It’s also all the more important for us to be able to harness this meditative state. From a non-reactive “intelligence”, we can step back an see what’s really going on. As Pirsig said in the interview, “All that garbage in our head” has to “float away” with the purification of regular meditation and the transformation of consciousness from reactive to responsive that it encourages. In that way, you have half a chance of making up your OWN mind, and not letting some algorithm do it for you!

Mood Disorders, Ketogenic Diet and Intermittent Fasting

I want to draw your attention to a method of improving all manner of health and mental health issues. This would be a radical change in diet.

As the research slowly emerges, and it does emerge slowly due to the vested interests of the pharmaceutical and food industries, with their vast coffers, which direct funding towards research that tests drugs and steers research away from indicting the processed food industry. However, ongoing real world observation of the effectiveness of dietary intervention has encouraged independent studies, which suggested that indeed diet is one of the best methods of improving mood disorders. This positive news is resulting in more and better funded research and more hope that finally diet will be taken seriously for its positive effect on health and mental health.

Also emerging is research that insulin resistance is far more culpable in mood disorders than previously acknowledged. Insulin resistance occurs when years of a carbohydrate rich diet and a heavy load of insulin results in cells turning off insulin receptors. This eventually leads to diabetes, and the host of accompanying health problems including mental health issues.

Fortunately, insulin resistance can be reversed with the proper diet. No, don’t look at the standard diabetes diet promoted by the USDA and their cronies, the food industry. Look to the Ketogenic diet. This diet, once a super strict, virtually carbohydrate-free, low protein and high fat diet that has been used for 100 years to resolve epilepsy, has recently been updated, due to research findings that it was effective with the addition of a few carbohydrates. Now it boasts a high level of palatability with the addition of many vegetables, some low sugar fruit, nuts and seeds.

As stated, the Ketogenic diet is one that removes the majority of carbohydrates from the diet, and all sugars and starches.  This means the elimination of flour, sugars, corn and grains. Replacing these ill-accepted staples are vegetables, quality protein and healthy fat. Quite a lot of fat in fact – which is both filling and highly neurogenic (very good for the brain). Epilepsy is not the only brain disorder it helps. It is implicated in improvement of Parkinson’s, brain fog, even dementia. Small wonder the Ketogenic diet is proving effective for mood disorders.

Strong research is also coming to the forefront that fasting and intermittent fasting is extremely beneficial to health and mood. Look to Doctors Valter Longo and Jason Fung for information. In 2016, Dr Yoshinori Ohsumi won a Nobel Prize for his work describing the mechanisms of Autophagy – where the cells clean themselves up during fasting. Autophagy has significant implications for health.

I am a fan of Dr. Eric Berg, a location nutritionist who focuses on the beneficial combination of the Keto genetic diet in conjunction with intermittent fasting. Here is an hour long webinar in which he discusses Ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting.

Dr. Berg has over 2000 videos that can help you get started with this healthy way of eating and of living. I encourage you to review some of these, and to try this Keto/fasting combo – with your doctor’s approval of course – and see if some of your mood problems decrease or even resolve!

A House United

I have been investigating “state model” or “parts of self” theories of personality. According to these theories, the different parts or “states of mind” that make up who we are have their own personal memory systems. These parts expand from our very earliest infant states and grow up mostly together, if we’re lucky, or fragmented, if our earliest “true self” expressions are discouraged and stymied. It’s as if our inner children had been forced to grow up in different parts of the house.

Parts can for example, be social personae, defenses, emotionally isolated or disavowed and can be triggered by context. The more rigid they are, and less they flow, the more problematic. So, what are some ways we can get these parts into harmony? To possibly bridge the gap between them, so that they flow, or transition more easily?

The great clinician Carl Rogers’ focus was to unite the self into a harmony he called “congruence”. Rogers and his Humanistic approach to therapy begins from the point of view that the patient has a “true” self. This self is expressed organically with a felt sense of congruence that arises when what we think, say and do mostly align with each other.

Carl Rogers c. 1964 in the famous “Gloria” sessions. Wouldn’t you like him as a therapist?

This is quite different from saying something in one state of mind, and doing the polar opposite in another. This dynamic of parts can result in perplexing actions or hypocrisy. Since they sometimes seem to have a mind of their own, we might not trust ourselves, or be ashamed of certain “bad” parts when they are triggered and express themselves.

This what we want to get a handle on in therapy, for the patient to know and experience all their states consciously and fully; to be able to trust themselves.

Carl Rogers began with relationship. In fact, Rogers was the among the first major clinicians to emphasize the human relationship element of therapy as the most healing factor.

Rogers would begin with what he termed “unconditional positive regard”. While it appears this statement describes a Buddha-like radical acceptance, it really means that the therapist is present with the patient and attempts to immerse herself into the patient’s subjective experience with responsiveness, restatement, and clarification. This means that the therapist does not try to educate the patient or modify his behavior, rather it means that the therapist and patient engage in dialog to collaborate in articulating the patient’s feelings and thoughts as they unfold during the therapy hour.

Some parts are more acceptable to the patient than others. But the fact is, all of them exist within the patient. Roger’s therapeutic method gives the acceptance for each part to express itself fully, as it arises, and even the more distrusting parts come to see the consistency and acceptance of the therapist, who herself behaves in a congruent manner.

Through the therapist’s empathetic listening and mirroring – reiterating and exploring what the patient says until the patient has the felt experience of being understood – all parts that can express what was held back and defended against, and the social personae can let down their masks and become more genuine.

As all parts grow, they feel increasingly confident to join the group; become integrated. The patient gradually feels more “real” and less fearful of retribution and ashamed by the expression of a “bad” part. This integration mirrors Roger’s “congruence”, in which the states flow naturally and smoothly the entire self can think, feel and act as a whole. As therapy progresses,  all the members of the family are increasingly able to sit down together and appreciate each other’s conversation in harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hypocrisy and our “Parts”

An embarrassing confession. I stick to a perfect diet, until I don’t! I am proud of the fact that I avoid certain foods, and I often say in a restaurant, “no thanks, I don’t want dessert, I don’t eat sugar”, while giving a look of righteous judgment to my dinner partner. Yet, before I know it, another part of me is triggered, and I’m helping myself to “just a bit” of their delicious chocolate mousse cake. Then I rationalize it, “well, I don’t want to be a killjoy…and you can’t always be too strict!”

We see hypocrisy as a character flaw. In our minds, it’s a willingness to appear morally virtuous, while being able to do what the hell you want. “Do as I say, not as I do”, the old saying goes. We assume a conscious self interest, of “having your cake and eating it too”.

Yet science may have a different explanation.

There is an interesting concept in psychology that is so cool, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it. It is called “State Dependent Learning and Memory” (SDLM) This means something like, what you remember in one state of mind, you may not in another. Remembering something works best when you are in the same state as when you learned it. For example, you may determine you are going into the living room to get, say, your glasses, but once you are in there, be at a complete loss as to what you went in there for. You go back outside, and of course, you remember the keys! The change of venue triggers a different “state”.

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So what does this have to do with hypocrisy?

Many people, in fact most of us, seem to have different “parts”. We could characterize this parts as, for example, a serious side, being flirtatious, fear of strangers, loving humanity, or dark thoughts. Sometimes, we need to be in a “mode”, to navigate the demands of society: professional, wife, friend, mother.

Typically, most of us can transition from one “self” to the other with relative ease, as there is a uniting memory of “self” undergirding our personality. But, thanks in part to SDLM, we can also can compartmentalize our parts, so that they seem to run on different memory systems. What we perceive to be negative parts of ourselves (often that are quite entrenched) that hold painful memories (such as traumatized parts), that we are ashamed of (such as phobic parts), or parts that cope with negative emotion (such as addicted parts) can more easily be disavowed and “dis-remembered”.

In these cases, SDLM can make our awareness of our inconsistencies “fuzzy”, so that we may feel perfectly righteous about our philosophy of high value characterizing one part of ourselves; one of our mental states, and then go ahead and completely violate that value in another state. That is the essence of hypocrisy. When we perhaps rail against some vice, be it substance related, sex oriented, or inclined towards a negative personality trait, such as judgement of others appearance.

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Once someone makes us aware our inconsistencies, we often deal with our bafflement, then shame with some type of rationalization. It’s an awful lot easier than the scary realization that we don’t really know ourselves that well! Take my “sugar” self. My dietary rigor is a fairly new “part”, and one that I have been able to sustain with relative success and with pride. However, there’s another part of me that’s been around a lot longer – the one that is a kid, that loves the dopamine rush of that delicious, velvety chocolate! That part can usurp my “good” part before I even know what happened.

As I am inclined, I will direct this back to the spiritual realm, with a quote from local trauma expert, Dr. Frank W. Putnam, whose book The Way We Are – How States of Mind Influence our Identities, Personality and Potential for Change (2016) I am getting some of this inspiration to write about our “parts”:

“We are all prime to this process to a greater or lesser extent. It is the rare person who can achieve the psychological distance work which to carefully examine the contradictions in his or her behavior. Indeed, it is just such a dispassionate self-awareness and self-reflective equanimity that is sought in the quest to achieve a state of spiritual enlightenment”

So perhaps it is only the enlightened soul who is never hypocritical!

 

Sugar – Obesity, Addiction, Depression

“…the war on drugs has taken a back seat, but not because it has been won. Rather, because a different war has cluttered the headlines — the war on obesity. And a substance even more insidious, I would argue, has supplanted cocaine and heroin. The object of our current affliction is sugar.” – Robert Lustig

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Remember a few years ago when high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was implicated in childhood obesity? That was the research of neuroendocrinologist Robert Lustig. As described in his book Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease (2013), added sugar was implicated in not only obesity, but metabolic syndrome which can include any or all: obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Why?

Too much sugar causes a surge in insulin. Insulin blocks the effect of leptin, the hormone that signals that you have had enough to eat. This leads to obesity, which is linked to a host of other diseases.

Now Lustig is back on the scene with a new book, The Hacking of the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Takover of our Brains and Bodies, which proposes another more sinister effect of sugar: depression. Sweet is evolutionarily delightful; it gives us pleasure. Excess sugar consumption floods the brain with dopamine, the pleasure neurotransmitter. And similarly (for our purposes) as insulin blocks the benefits of leptin, so does dopamine block serotonin, the contentment neurotransmitter.

Therefore, sugar behaves simarlarly as all substances of abuse – it is addictive. It fuels short-term pleasure, while dampening a long-term sense of well-being. Without the substance, and with lowered serotonin, in absence of the drug of choice, the world is grey and depressing. Another “fix” of pleasure can temporarily increase positive emotion. With decreased seratonin, only a rush of dopamine can take an addict out of the colorless funk that invariably occurs when the substance is not longer in the body.

The FDA, the USDA don’t adequately acknowledge the extent of the ill effects of sugar. And why should they? Legislators are often unduly influenced by big money; in this case the Sugar Association’s powerful lobby. Sound like a conspiracy? Well, maybe it is. That very same lobby paid off Harvard researchers decades ago to point the finger toward fat rather than sugar as the key to the dietary cause of heart disease.

This unfortunate influence yields to this day an OK from the FDA of a carbohydrate-heavy food pyramid, and still little acknowledgment that sugar is the enemy. Therefore, it is very difficult to persuade people to believe that sugar is really that harmful.

But it certainly can be, especially in excess. And it is correlated with depression, and as a therapist, I say that is bad news.

To be continued….