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Is depression a genetic problem?

I have recently been preparing a course on the treatment of depression.

An extraordinary thing is that the most senior researcher who mapped the human genome has stated categorically that there '... is no gene for depression'.

Now there do seem to be some genes that make some people more vulnerable to the condition, but depression cannot be called 'genetic'. In fact, in a study of stone age tribes that was conducted over ten years and involved in-depth interviews, there was only ONE PERSON who was possibly suffering from depression. And that study was of TWO THOUSAND PEOPLE.

You might like to compare that with Western societies where there is a ONE IN FOUR risk that you'll have depression at some time in your life. Ouch.

We are genetically almost identical to them. Clearly we have a societal problem. So what are the real causes of depression? Find out by going to the next course on depression.



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21st December 

This is a moving and fascinating film:


16th December 

Time for some dotty labels, signs etc:

A packet of Seabrook Canadian ham crisps labelled "vegetarian". I like the addition of "Canadian" as if some incredibly clever chemist had detected that his fake meat tasted quite different from, say, Wiltshire ham.

Shelving at B&Q. "Warning: wood product, may contain splinters."

A sign in someone's workplace: "Stairs not suitable for wheelchair users".

A bottle of skin lotion: "Avoid contact with the brain."



9th December

I read a newspaper article about someone in Slovakia who wanted to be a cannibal. He had advertised for a person who was willing to commit suicide so that he could then eat them.

A man originally from Sweden agreed, but then changed his mind and told the police about this weirdo.

My only advice - do not eat a midget with an IQ of less than a hundred - it's not big and it's not clever.


2nd December 2011


A man was washed up on a beach after a terrible shipwreck. Only a sheep and a sheepdog were washed up with him.

Looking around, he realised that they were stranded on a deserted island. After being there a while, he got into the habit of taking his two animal companions to the beach every evening to watch the sun set.

One particular evening, the sky was a fiery red with beautiful cirrus clouds, the breeze was warm and gentle, just the perfect night for romance.

As they sat there, the sheep started looking better and better to the lonely Kiwi, soon he leaned over to the sheep and put his arm around it.

But the sheepdog, ever protective of the sheep, growled fiercely until the man took his arm from around the sheep.

After that, the three of them continued to enjoy the sunsets together but there was no more cuddling.

A few weeks passed by and, lo and behold, there was another shipwreck. The only survivor was a beautiful young woman, the most beautiful woman the man had ever seen. She was in a pretty bad way when he rescued her and he slowly nursed her back to health.

When the young maiden was well enough, he introduced her to their evening beach ritual, it was another beautiful evening, red sky, cirrus clouds, a warm and gentle breeze, just the perfect night for romance.

Pretty soon, the Kiwi started to get 'those feelings' again, he fought the urges as long as he could but he finally gave in and realising he now had the opportunity, leaned over to the young woman cautiously and whispered in her ear......

'Would you mind taking the dog for a walk?'


28th November

Another neat visual illusion. Focus on the cross in the middle:


















21st November


Dr. George Simon writing on the science of gratitude said:

'Your very life is an unearned gift.' 

What a great basis for developing gratitude in our lives.


7th November 


This is something that I find really quite stunning. It was in my last email newsletter, but if you didn't get that then here it is. Try looking to the left or right of the image and see if you can get the dancer to turn the other way!




16th  October 

The computer's foot pedal

I read today of a guy who used to visit people's homes to fix computers. He said how one day a lady asked that he come and fix the foot pedal which wasn't working.

It turned out to be the mouse.


This reminds me of a second computer story. A guy at a call centre says he got a call from someone who had just bought a PC. She said, 'The mouse is at the end of the mat - what do we do now?'

7th October



2nd October

Sleeping around - it's always the kids who suffer!

She's called Debra:

















8th September 

Only a couple of miles away from where I live there's a church. Nice old place with beautiful stained glass windows. I went past there recently... and look what's happened:


















So if ever you want spiritual enlightenment, or you feel that you need to unburden your soul, just pop down to St. Tescos in Westbourne. I wonder if they sell lettuce spray?




Alan Davidson:

UK:  01202 423111   (Outside UK: 44 1202 423111)