The other day, the new issue of Psychology Today arrived at the office. Among the stories on the cover was one entitled “Can Yogurt Cure Depression?” I caught a quick glance at the title and it almost didn’t register. Then I thought, “Wait a minute! Did I really just read what I think I just read? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen!”
Here’s my thinking: Every time I put on a few pounds and start getting disgusted with myself, I get “virtuous” and bring yogurt in for lunch instead of a sandwich. I’ve found that it not only doesn’t cure any depression I might have, it actually casts a depressing pall on an otherwise bright and sunny day! I see the tiny container and think “You mean, that’s really all I get to eat right now?! What devastating news! The prospects for curing my depression would soar if I were eating a chicken parm sub instead.”
Later that same day, I was finishing up a session with a group of 6th grade boys. We usually spend 10-15 minutes in my office at the end of each session having a snack. If we have enough time, we do a short activity. The other day, there wasn’t much time left so we just chatted for a bit. I brought up the topic of that yogurt article and how ridiculous I thought it was and everyone agreed. Then one of my guys offered up this gem:
“Actually, what cures depression is stuffing your face with food you love with people you love.”
It made me scratch my head for a minute. Is this really a 6th grade boy, saying something tender (kind of) among other 6th grade boys? He continued:
“Or, if you’re a cannibal, stuffing your face with the people you love.”
And I thought “That’s more like it!”
My boy insists he made that up himself. I have my doubts. But even if he cribbed it, his timing was pretty perfect.
I’ve been busy and a bit stressed out all week but my mood has improved 10 fold since he made that joke. The best cure for depression is NOT yogurt.