Hectic lifestyles contribute to depression

(AAP) Depression is the by-product of modern hectic lifestyles, a US expert says.

Dr Stephen Ilardi says the 20-fold increase in depression over the past century is proof that “humans were never designed for the pace of modern life”.

“We’re designed for a different time,” says Dr Ilardi, an associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Kansas.

“… when people were physically active, when they were outside in the sun for most of the day, when they had extensive social connections and enjoyed continual face time with their friends and loved ones.”

He says modern humans should re-connect with these primitive ways by eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, through regular exercise and sun exposure, by being more social and getting more sleep.

Dr Ilardi’s book The Depression Cure (Da Capo Lifelong Books) was published this month.

Depressed teens need more sleep

Teens who go to bed early are less likely to suffer depression.

A US study of more than 15,500 teens found seven per cent suffered from depression, and 13 per cent had suicidal thoughts.

When quizzed on what time they went to sleep, researchers found those who did so at midnight or later were significantly more likely to be mentally troubled.

They were 25 per cent more likely to suffer depression and 20 per cent more likely to have suicidal thoughts compared to adolescents who were sent to bed by their parents at 10pm, or earlier.

“Short sleep duration explained the relationship between parental-mandated bedtimes and depression,” says Dr James Gangwisch, of Columbia University in New York.