Being a laboratory researcher, Redei takes her shattering conclusion and heads off in much the same direction as before: She wants to find newer, better drugs that will manipulate genes and neurons rather than manipulating the chemicals they produce. Yet there is a more logical way to proceed, which is to stop making depressed neural pathways and healing those that already exist.
How to do that? Current research is very optimistic, because it turns out that the positive lifestyle changes advised for such a long time actually change both genetic expression and neural pathways. In other words, your brain cells listen to your behavior and beliefs, and if those behaviors and beliefs are powerful enough, the brain changes. What this means is that therapy, spiritual practices, healthy relationships, love and compassion, avoidance of toxins, meditation and stress management aren't secondary. They are central to dealing with depression and anxiety.
The deep lesson emerging from Redei's new findings is that drugs will never be the way. The way is far more human, and therefore complicated. It would be nice if popping a pill improved your life, but only you can do that. The ball is back in the court of the human potential movement and its promise of higher consciousness as the road to health and wholeness. I for one view that as a great improvement over drugs, which can be saved for critical and chronic conditions when more human strategies have not worked.
Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM, Channels 102 and 155.
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