A fatty, waxy steroid found in animal cell membranes. The body produces cholesterol naturally, but excessive cholesterol from food intake can cause plaques to form in the arteries, leading to heart problems, aneurisms, and other health problems.
A hormone produced in the brain that regulates the physical sleep and alertness cycle in humans based on the external environment of light and darkness.
Spring 2007 Magazine: Diseases of the Mind
Author: Connie Kiefiuk
Publish date:

The word “disease” brings up thoughts of things like cancer, strokes, heart attacks, and diabetes. However, a lurking illness affecting millions of people is depression.

CC BY-ND 2.0 Helga Weber on Flickr

You would think that affluent societies should be free of this “disease”—that it should only affect third world countries where extreme poverty would be sufficient reason for serious depression. However, this is not the case. Depression is a major disability in societies that are bursting with materialism.

It has been reported by the World Health Organization that in the year 2000, depression was the leading cause of short-term disability around the world. Billions of dollars are lost in productivity because of depressed employees. For instance, in Canada, depressed workers reported an average of 32 days in the year when their symptoms of depression left them either totally unable to work or unable to carry out normal everyday activities.

Depression is an illness that affects the whole body: the nervous system, moods, thoughts, and behavior. There are basically three types of depression:

1. Major Depression

  • Primary symptoms include anxious, “empty,” or sad moods, feelings of hopelessness and unreasonable guilt, worthlessness or helplessness, and a loss of interest in normal activities.
  • May be changes in sleep habits (either insomnia or excessive sleeping), changes in appetite, as well as symptoms of chronic fatigue, headaches, irritability, and quickness to anger.
  • Feelings of intense grudges against people, overwhelming feelings of sadness or grief.
  • There may be thoughts of death or suicide.
  • Women are struck twice as often as men.

2. Dysthymia

  • Is less disabling than major depression but lasts longer.
  • Generally characterized by a lack of enjoyment in life that normally lasts at least two years.
  • Can have severe effects over a lifetime such as social isolation, poor functioning at work and high rates of suicide.
  • Women are struck twice as often as men.

3. Bipolar Disorder (or Manic Depression)

  • Manic symptoms include abnormal elation, decreased need for sleep, inappropriate social behavior, markedly increased energy, increased sexual desire.
  • Dramatic mood swings are typical.
  • A manic episode could worsen into a psychotic state if left untreated.
  • Men and women are struck equally.

There are many causes of depression and many factors that make some people more prone to it than others, such as a family history of the illness. Depression can result from prolonged stress on the job, or from a general negative outlook on life. A poor diet is a common cause of depression. It can also be triggered by specific traumatic events in a person’s life and there are also situations where a biochemical imbalance in the brain brings on depression.

How can depression be treated?

Although medication can perhaps help some people get through their daily routines, it does not normally “cure” depression. I would like to suggest that the best medicine is summed up in the following words from an excellent book called Ministry of Healing:

Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, and trust in divine power—these are the true remedies. Every person should have knowledge of nature’s remedial agencies and how to apply them…But in the end it will be found that nature, untrammeled, does her work wisely and well. Those who persevere in obedience to her laws will reap the reward in health of body and health of mind (Ministry of Healing, 127).

Pure Air
Oxygen is vital to each cell of our body. Bad air and poor breathing habits promote negative emotions like depression and irritability. It can also cause headaches and chronic feelings of fatigue and exhaustion. Be sure your body gets enough oxygen by spending some time in the out-of-doors and keeping your house well ventilated. Pause frequently to take slow, deep breaths of good fresh air. Read our article on fresh air

Source: Tenth Muse Photography, Flickr.

Just 15 minutes of sunlight can provide sufficient vitamin D for the day. Sunlight helps the body produce melatonin that in turn produces sounder sleep. In addition, an extra hour of sunlight a day can lift your spirits and affect your energy. Read our article on sunlight

Abstemiousness, or temperance, is moderation in every area of life and abstinence from things like alcohol and smoking. Balance in our total lifestyle is the key to enduring physical and mental health and happiness. Read our article on temperance

The average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night, young children need 10 to 12 hours. Rest is an important part of life’s rhythm and is conducive to better physical and mental health. Read our article on rest

Regular exercise is very effective in combating many health problems, both physical and mental, and is as good as medicine for reducing depression. Good examples are walking, jogging, or cycling for at least 30 minutes each day. Read our article on exercise

Proper Diet
A well-balanced vegetarian diet rich in vitamins and nutrients that are low in fat and cholesterol yet high in fiber will lead to a new level of good health and well-being. Depression and anxiety have been found to be lower in vegetarians when compared to non-vegetarians due to the fact that they enjoy better health. Good health can only be sustained by good blood, which comes only from eating vital foods. Read our article on nutrition

Virtually every body function is dependent upon water, so 8 to 10 cups of water per day are recommended for the average person. Keeping your body hydrated can chase away that tired, depressed feeling! Water on the outside of the body is just as important and vital for cleaning the skin. Read our article on water

Trust in Divine Power
Becoming acquainted with and learning to trust God enhances physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. Isaiah 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Trust in God brings quality, fulfillment and hope for the future. Read our article on trust

Remember, ”A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).

Science Deceptions
Media Deceptions
Spiritual Deceptions
A Basis for Conflict
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Evolution Is Not Science—It's Religion Conforming Under Pressure How Can We See Stars That Are Billions Of Light Years Away? Creation and Evolution: Is Compromise Possible? Understanding the Creation Week The Rise of Evolutionary Thinking Geocentricity: It's Time to Face the Facts Earth's History: Conflicting Paradigms Lamarck Proposes Natural Selection Where did the Universe Come From? Evidence for a Young Universe Age Of The Earth Is Carbon-Dating Accurate? Flood Chronology
Evidence in Stone
Can we understand the age of the earth by the rocks? What theory does the evidence support?
Soft Rock Evidence for Rapid Washout
The Fossil Record
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Evolutionary Sequences Order in the Fossil Record Evolution of the Horse Explosive Evolution Fossils prove a Flood Fossil Footprints Dinosaurs and the Flood Petrified Trees The Biblical Flood Reasons For Extinction Fossil Reefs The Post-Flood World Human Evolution
Genes of Genesis
As we study the genome, the molecule, and the atom, we see a vast network of intricate systems beyond our understanding. Were these systems really formed by chance?
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Creation to Restoration
How did this world change from the perfection depicted in Genesis to a world full of thorns, thistles, parasites, and death? If God made everything perfect, how could it have all been so changed?
A Good World Gone Bad An Imperfect Planet Evidence For Design Evidence For Transformation Rapid Transformation Clean and Unclean: The History of the Human Diet The Dawn Chorus and Life Forces
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Archaeology Confirms the Bible Tyre and the Bible Petra and the Bible Egypt and the Bible Babylon and the Bible The Lost Books of the Bible
Crossing Musical Boundaries
Music is a powerful emotional motivator that crosses cultural and language barriers. Its message can be understood by every culture and people across the planet.
The Philosophers Talk Music Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Christianity The Pursuit of Pleasure Music and Worship The Beat The Rave Can You Feel the Music? Whose Music? The Bible and Rock Music: Are they Compatible? The Last Great Contest – Worship The Ear Classical Music Therapy Music and the Frontal Lobe From the Horse's Mouth: The Rock Industry Condemns Itself
Hollywood and the Movies
What is the system of worship found most often in our society? Does it glorify God?
Hollywood's History Gnostic Themes in the Movies Hollywood and Gnosticism
Brain Closed—Please Come Again
Research has shown that our sensitivity to stimuli reduces itself yearly by about 1%. Is your brain hibernating?
The Dangers of Television
Beware of the television's abilities to hypnotize, alter moods, and even cause depression.
Violence and Video Games
Like music and movies, video games are addictive and can cause behavioral problems.
The Origins of Halloween
What is the origin behind this popular festival celebrated every October 31?
Introduction to the Reformation
What started the Protestant Reformation? Was the Reformation a success? Does it still matter today?
The Pope Claims to be God on Earth
Read proof that throughout the Roman Church's history, the Papacy has often claimed that the Pope is divine.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - A Timeline
The oppression of Protestants is widespread and consistent throughout history.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - Quotes
It was once written in America's oldest Catholic newspaper, the Boston Pilot, that "No good government can exist without religion, and there can be no religion without an Inquisition, which is wisely designed for the promotion and protection of the true faith.”

Read several authors' thoughts on papal Rome's history.
Catholic Councils
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The Jesuits
Learn what people throughout history have had to say on the reputation, history, and political nature of the Jesuit Order.
An Introduction to the Jesuits Jesuits and the Hippie Movement Ignatius of Loyola and Martin Luther "Caring" and a New Morality Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises Ignatius Loyola and Spiritual Formation Protestantism Destroyed The Jesuit Superior General
Cross and Crown
This book "Cross and Crown" is a powerful and thrilling recital of the most romantic and dramatic incidents in history to be found on record, told in the simplest, most graphic, and entertaining form.
The Aggressive Intentions of the Papacy
The historian Ranke says this about Protestant-Catholic relations: "In the year 1617, everything betokened a decisive conflict between them. The Catholic party appears to have felt itself the superior. At all events it was the first to take up arms."

This article highlights quotes from historical and Catholic sources proving the Papacy's aggressive nature.
Christianity and Violence
Would the world be a safer place without Christian fundamentalism?
Stories of the Reformation
Dive into history to uncover the remarkable stories of faith and passion in early Protestantism.
An Italian mystic. A minister to a British king. An Augustine monk. A Swiss farmer's boy. What do these men have in common? They were used by God in powerful ways to bring about the Protestant Reformation. Enter into the lives of these ordinary people with extraordinary stories.
Inspiration for these articles comes from Gideon and Hilda Hagstoz' Heroes of the Reformation
Philipp Melanchthon John Laski Jerome of Prague John Wycliffe Louis De Berquin Gaspard De Coligny
Religious Doublespeak
Language can be used to communicate both truth and lies. Learn about the religious doublespeak being used to pull the wool over the eyes of the world.
Hegelian Thinking and World Politics
Hegelian dialectic thinking is applied in many situations in world politics. Often the ordinary people are used as pawns in the game of Hegelian psychology played by those who pull the strings of world control.
The Great Controversy
Read this classic work by Ellen G. White.
The Destruction of Jerusalem Persecution in the First Centuries An Era of Spiritual Darkness The Waldenses John Wycliffe Huss and Jerome Luther's Separation From Rome Luther Before the Diet The Swiss Reformer Progress of Reform in Germany Protest of the Princes The French Reformation The Netherlands and Scandinavia Later English Reformers The Bible and the French Revolution The Pilgrim Fathers Heralds of the Morning An American Reformer Light Through Darkness A Great Religious Awakening A Warning Rejected Prophecies Fulfilled What is the Sanctuary? In the Holy of Holies God's Law Immutable A Work of Reform Modern Revivals Facing Life's Record The Origin of Evil Enmity Between Man and Satan Agency of Evil Spirits Snares of Satan The First Great Deception Can Our Dead Speak to Us? Liberty of Conscience Threatened The Impending Conflict The Scriptures a Safeguard The Final Warning The Time of Trouble God's People Delivered Desolation of the Earth The Controversy Ended
Who is Jesus?
Is Jesus really who He says He is?
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The Second Coming of Christ
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
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The Bible
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Archaeology Confirms the Bible Choosing the Books of the Bible Studying Scripture Scripture is Inspired by God Testing the Gospel of Thomas Testing the Gospel of Judas The Spirit in Scripture The Lost Books of the Bible The Gospel Story Spiritual Gifts
Christian Living: Sin and Salvation
Consider the crucial points of the Christian life.
Christian Living Good God, Bad World. Why? God's Plan to Eradicate Sin Salvation By Faith The Ceremonial Feasts Pointed to Christ
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