Review: The Depression Cure


The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression Without Drugs, Author: Steven S. Ilardi, PhD


Depression is a debilitating disorder affecting millions. If you suspect you suffer from depression or want to better understand it in order to help a loved one, then The Depression Cure will appeal to you. The author, Dr. Steven S. Ilardi, is a clinical psychologist at Duke Medical Center and devotes his life to helping people overcome depression. He has a long history with the medical center spanning over two decades.

Experience has proven that there isn’t a single solution for every depressed patient. While some people benefit from certain prescription drugs used to treat depression, these same drugs are ineffective or even detrimental to others. Behavior modification therapies may work with some patients while others require a combination of protocols. That’s where his 6 Step program comes to light.

Dr. Ilardi offers hope and a cure for depression for people who commit to using this program without reliance on antidepressants. So what is the 6-step cure for depression?

The doctor calls this program the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change step program. However, to me it’s more of a combination approach than a step-by-step program. However you view it, the statistics for curing patients from depression are impressive. There were two depression treatment models used with patients at the medical school: Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) and the “treatment a usual” which was largely based on medication.

The results were impressive. About 25% of people on the medication protocol, the “treatment as usual” program, recovered from depression while the response rate for the TLC patients was three times higher. According to Dr. Ilardi, every single patient who put the full program into practice got better, even though most had already failed to get well on anti-depressant medications. Let’s look a bit closer at the TLC system.

The Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) 6-Step Cure for Depression

The core principle behind the TLC program is that humans are not designed for a sedentary, indoor lifestyle consuming diets offering low nutritional value and where we live a fairly socially isolated lifestyle. While some people appear to grow and thrive on a Big Mac and Coke diet, these quick food diets offer little value other than high gylcemic and fat contents. The TLC system returns patients to a diet providing high nutritional value and a fairly common sense approach to curing depression.

All TLC programs combines the following six components into a complete, step-by-step program designed to address the very aspects contributing to the epidemic of depression in western cultures. Here are the core components of the TLC program.

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  2. Engaging Activity
  3. Physical Exercise
  4. Sunlight Exposure
  5. Social Connection
  6. Enhanced Sleep

Is the 6-Step Depression Cure for You?

 People who want to cure depression without the cost and negative side effects of anti-depression medications are good candidates for this program. In fact, the lifestyle changes are positive for anyone who wants to make substantial changes in their physical and mental condition.

Patients who commit to these lifestyle changes will find themselves climbing out of the depression hole and enjoying the positive side effects from the TLC program. Along with curing depression, people who step through the TLC system enjoy additional mental and health benefits such as:

  • weight loss
  • more energy
  • lower blood pressure
  • enhanced cardiac health
  • better immune function
  • greater mental clarity
  • and an enhanced sense of well-being

Dr. Ilardi initially developed the program targeting people who were clinically depressed. Sometimes the TLC program is combined with traditional psychotherapy and/ or anti-depressant medications, but that is not the standard. The statistics prove that TLC is highly effective when used on its own.

TLC is ideal for people who continue to struggle with depression even after being on anti-depression medications or with regular therapy sessions with a psychologist. It’s for people who want to minimize the chance of depression consuming their lives.

People who struggle with reoccurrences of depression or blues are also good candidates for the TLC program. In fact, because it is a holistic and fairly natural approach to living, entire families benefit from adopting the TLC lifestyle.

Core Chapters

Understanding Depression

This chapter provides a core understanding of depression and some eye-opening statistics regarding the disorder. It also provides reasoning for why people who live in modern societies suffer more from this condition than people who live in third-world, hunter-gatherer type social structures. Dr. Ilardi also provides examples of physical and mental changes experienced by patients participating in the 6-Step Cure. He draws in the relationship of the core components to the physical changes the support the cure for depression.

The Therapeutic Lifestyle Change

This chapter provides details to six phases of the TLC program. While the part about using rats in clinical studies may disturb some people, the fact is that this practice has resulted in some significant insight to move depression treatment away from prescription drugs to products and food stuffs far healthier to consume. You may want to adopt TLC just for general well-being after reading this chapter.

Making the Change

This chapter pulls it altogether in helping you to understand how to incorporate all six antidepressant strategies into your life at the same time. TLC is a significant change to the lifestyle accustomed by many who aren’t in full-blown depression. So is it overwhelming for people who are? According to the doctor and based upon his years of experience working with depressed patients, “most depressed individuals are willing to do whatever it takes to escape the illness, to find relief from its relentless, debilitating pain.”

Before Beginning the 6-Step Cure for Depression

Often depression is brought on by other medical conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, sleep apnea, thyroid disorder, heart disease, chronic infection, and hormonal imbalance as well as other conditions. Therefore, it’s important to understand whether there are other things contributing to your depression which should also be addressed by a physician.

Here is the link to the book: The Depression Cure

Medical Conditions Leading to Depression



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