Tips For Dealing With Sadness and Depression


Solving problems, finding solutions, and healing the emotions through applied game theory  tips, techniques, tools, life hacks  tactics, and wellness strategies, 


Before we get started, here is a short introduction (including a video)  to help you understand applied game theory, A POWERFUL TOOL FOR ENDING THE SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION. It is written for a child so anyone can understand it. Click below…



Q.  Lewis, I feel depressed all the time and I’m not sure why?

A.  Consider this. Maybe you’re not really depressed, but you just think you are. All of us are sad now and then, and in 2020 we may be more rather than less sad.  I deal with this issue all the time in my workshops on self-improvement, personal development, and self-awareness.

Based on old definitions, all of us are walking around clinically depressed. Look, some people are really, REALLY depressed, so don’t confuse, your confusion, and general dissatisfaction with your life with real, authentic, emotionally crushing depression.  You’re not really depressed, you’re just sad. We deal with this all the time in our workshops on

Serious, crippling clinical depression is the most commonly experienced emotional disorder and has been with us since the beginning of time. It has been known by many names including despair and melancholy. One of the reasons why this condition is so widespread is, in no small part, due to the fact that the term “depression” encompasses a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms. In its most extreme forms, suicide is a major risk of depression.


Why do I say “you may not really be depressed?”  Because it is hard to scientifically define what depression actually is.



It is hard to scientifically define what depression actually is.


Public perception and medical approaches to depression are determined by complex interactions among the public, the media, politicians, and the medical establishment. Depression appears in many forms and at many levels of severity. In the early stages of the condition, a person may experience a single symptom or a combination of symptoms that have come to be associated with depression. These symptoms may include loss of appetite, loss of interest in hobbies, various sleep disturbances (including insomnia), and loss of sex drive, among others. Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean that a person is in a depressed state. We all experience life events and challenges that challenge our mental and emotional balance. Healthy grief and depression due to extreme events may last a few weeks or even longer. Normally, a person will eventually come out of the trauma. But some do not. These individuals seem to sink deeper into a swirl of seemingly ever darker symptoms. When these symptoms last longer than three weeks or a month, and the individual experiences a weight loss of more than five percent, and/or is fatigued, has a loss of hope, a sense of despair, and slow and/or distorted thinking, then this individual may be experiencing clinical depression.


There are many different categories of depression. These include Chronic Depression, Manic-Depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Post-partum Depression, and more recently, classified forms of depression such as Atypical Depression and Double Depression. Some of these conditions are biochemical in origin or attitudinal, while others are combinations of the two.


The most common forms are known as situational depression and clinical depression. The difference between the two is defined by the severity and length of time of the depressed state, as well as certain biochemical factors that may have come into play.



To understand how pervasive depression is in the United States and increasingly throughout the world, you need only look at research findings and statistics:


  • It is estimated that between two and four percent of the United States population suffers from some form of clinical depression. The figures are even greater among specialized populations such as the confined elderly, hospital inpatients (especially those in life-challenging situations), patients under primary care, and the chronically ill.
  • About twice as many women as men suffer from clinical depression, except for manic depression, which occurs with equal frequency between both genders.
  • Men with clinical depression are more than twice as likely to develop coronary artery disease as their non-depressed counterparts.
  • The largest amount of depression occurs between the ages of 25-44, with an increased rate among those born since 1945.
  • Individuals with a family history of depression are more inclined to develop depression.
  • Those involved in ongoing intimate live-in relationships (married or single) have a lower rate of clinical depression than those living alone. Happily married men have the lowest rate. However, those men or women in unhappy relationships experience the highest rate of depression.
  • Research shows that one in ten people in the United States suffers from depression. However, nearly two-thirds do not get help or treatment because of symptoms.
  • “Siblings, parents, and children of those with recurrent depression develop mood disorders at eight times the rate of the general population.”
  • If present trends continue in the next 20 years, the number of depressed individuals will increase to the point that depressive illness globally will be the second leading cause of disability.


One of the great quotes concerning depression comes from the great Chinese Sage and mystic Chuang Tzu

“Joy and anger, sorrow and happiness, worries and regrets, indecision and fears, overcome us and then recede, with ever-changing moods, like echoes from the hollows, or like mushrooms on damp ground.  Day and night these alternate within us, but we are ignorant of their source…. If not for these emotions would I even exist? Who would feel my emotions if not for me? We can live life without knowing when these feelings will arise. It seems obvious that I have a soul, but the evidence of its existence is lacking. Its function seems obvious enough, though I cannot see its form. Perhaps it is inner reality without outward form”.



Sadness or what we believe to be clinical depression may not require professional treatment. Often these emotions may be a normal temporary reaction to life events, a symptom of some medical condition, or a side effect of some drugs or medical treatments. If you are constantly in a depressed mood, especially in combination with other symptoms, you may wish to get professional help. Antidepressants should not be routinely used for the initial treatment of mild depression, because the risk-benefit ratio is poor. A healthy lifestyle, a support group, life skills training, bodywork/massage, physical activity and many other approaches can have a protective effect against the emergence of depression.

Physical activity can also decrease depressive symptoms due to the release of neurotrophic proteins in the brain that can help to rebuild the hippocampus that may be reduced due to depression.] Also yoga, Tai Chi, and Creative Arts Therapy  could be considered an ancillary treatment option for patients with depressive disorders and individuals with elevated levels of depression.

Reminiscence of old and fond memories is another alternative form of treatment, especially for the elderly who have lived longer and have more experiences in life. It is a method that causes a person to recollect memories of their own life, leading to a process of self-recognition and identifying familiar stimuli. By maintaining one’s personal past and identity, it is a technique that stimulates people to view their lives in a more objective and balanced way, causing them to pay attention to positive information in their life stories, which would successfully reduce depressive mood levels.

Self-help books are a growing form of treatment for people’s physiological distress.


This particular story is extracted from the course on helping yourself with natural healing.  Become happier,  more effective, efficient, productive, innovative, and self-aware. Learn more by clicking on the “Welcome! The E- Learning Course” icon below…



Author: Lewis Harrison is an author, speaker, seminar leader, and Results-Oriented Life Coach. He has a passion for helping people solve problems, personal growth, self-improvement, and Transmodern Zen.

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How To Have a Happy Marriage

Humor can keep a marriage strong. In fact some problems, especially marriage problems get solved because we are will to accept the absurd as normal reality. This applies to game theory, life strategies and basic problem solving.

I accepted this as an epiphany of sorts during an argument my wife and I were having. Yup my wife and I had a bit of a tiff this week.  We were watching a movie about marriage and ruminating on why some couples stay together and others get divorced? Then we had a tiff about something.

Neither of us can remember what it was about but it was a tiff nonetheless. You see we are each from a different culture, religious background, racial heritage, and have differing and often oppositional tastes in almost every way.  To add to the differences I am 6’1” and she is 4’8” tall. I guess that the cause of the tiff is somehow tied to one of these differences… but I’m not sure.

Lilia and I never dated and she moved in with me the second time we met (I begged her to).  As I remember it the voices in my head said “Hey, Lewis, ask this woman that you don’t really know to move in with you” Of course I always do what the voices in my head tell me to do so I asked her, actually I begged her to stay. We got married in a year and many of our friends were convinced that we would be divorced in less than a year (sadly most of them are now divorced). We have spent well over a decade bickering about this or that. Our neighbors used to call us the “Bickerers”. (Oh they are now divorced as well).

I was single till I was forty seven and used to dazzle the ladies with my cooking skills. I only tell you this because Lilia doesn’t really like most of my cooking. I often create feasts for us and she send out for Chinese takeout.

Now all that being said we really do have something special. Trust and respect is at the top of the list and we’ve pretty much accepted what are often called by others as “irreconcilable differences”. Some say we have learned to compromise.  I’d rather call it drawing and seldom crossing a “line in the sand” that seems to be constantly moving. We often communicate effectively within an hour or two of any disagreement we may have. That might be the key to some sort of marital success.


I want to say that greatly respect the Pope and the Dalai Lama but have always wondered how easy it would to be the Pope or the Dalai Lama if they had to deal with the quirks of marriage.


So as I was saying Lilia and I had this tiff while we were watching a movie about marriage and we began ruminating on why some couples stay together and others get divorced?

This tiff and our discussion about it reminded me of a funny story I pulled out of  Woody Allen’s movie “Annie Hall” about marriage.

The male and female parts can be switched. It doesn’t  matter.


“A man goes to a psychiatrist and explains that his wife is insane.

“Maybe she is a bit eccentric” replies the psychiatrist. “You can learn to adjust to her behavior, after all marriage is compromise”.

“No” replies the man. “She is really crazy”

“What makes you so sure that she is crazy?” asks the psychiatrist

“She thinks she’s a chicken” Replies the man


“She thinks she’s a chicken”

“What makes you think, that she thinks she is a chicken?” Asks the Psychiatrist

“Well she acts like a chicken”!

“I don’t understand” Replies the psychiatrist

The man explains. “Every morning she wakes up and starts to make clucking noises. Then she bends over and starts to peck at the floor like she is eating seeds. Then she waves her arms up and down like a chicken does.”

“Wow” say the psychiatrist, “Your wife really does think she is a chicken”.

“That’s what I told you” replies the man.

“Why do you stay married to her”? Asked the psychiatrist

The man responded instantly, without any thought or sense of irony. “Because I need the eggs!”


Lewis Harrison is the founder and director of the Harrison Center for Personal Development. He is a radio talk show host, speaker, consultant, practical philosopher and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. Lewis is a pioneer in the personal development movement The author of nine self help books on human potential he offers a monthly retreat/seminar “How to Solve Any Problem”.  He also and phone based coaching.   This blog is explored more fully through Lewis’ E-book “Everything You Need To Know About Staying Happily Married”. It is available for $7.00 and can be ordered directly from Lewis by calling him at 212-724-8782.

Listen to Lewis on the radio on his show “That Was Zen, This is Tao” Wednesday and Thursday 4-6 PM

Lewis speaks to companies and other organizations on stress management

Lewis also offers phone-based and on-line life coaching services and a monthly workshop/Retreat – a simple program for decision making based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash, the Nobel Prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”.