Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Which Is Better For Depression, Jello Pudding or Prozac?
You might have seen this Jello pudding commercial, recently. In it, a middle-aged, overweight, bald office worker is sitting at his kitchen table, talking to his 8 or 10 year old son, presumably teaching the boy a life lesson. Basically, he tells his son (and I paraphrase), "When life gets you down, eat. Specifically, eat pudding. Jello pudding. It fixes everything."
More exactly, the dad said to his son, "Imagine waking up every morning to find you've lost even more hair, then driving to work in bumper to bumper traffic, and finding that the project you've been working on for a year was cancelled. The chocolately taste of jello pudding makes up for all that."
In response, the son slides his container of pudding over to the dad, saying, "Here. You need this more than I do."
Nice message: "When life gets you down, eat."
Being that I grew up morbidly obese, I really don't need to hear messages like that. Neither do my patients. Many of them are middle-aged, overweight, and dissatisfied--not only with their jobs--but with their lives, in general. Sadly, triggered by these commercials, and, in response to their sadness, anger, or frustration, they reach for what I like to call "False Comforters." False Comforters can be things like food, material possessions, alcohol, drugs, sex, porn, shopping, gambling, etc. Those things offer short-term distractions from the unwanted emotions and hurt my patients more in the long run by making them fiscally, relationally, and physically even sicker.
Because of this ridiculous, yet effective, manipulative TV commercials, and, in order to become or stay healthy in mind, body, and spirit, it's best to limit your TV time. Ultimately, it's a matter of life and death.
For more information about breaking free from emotional triggers that lead you into unwanted behavior, refer to my latest book, Radical Well-being.