"Clinical depression" is the name for the persistent disabling condition of joylessness that affects tens of millions of Americans. It is believed to be a major cause of suicide.
While depression is not new, the numbers affected have risen and the age group affected has dropped dramatically in the past few decades. The National Institutes of Mental Health notes that prior to World War II, depression typically affected people in their 50s. Today it occurs most among 24- to 44-year-olds.
In the 1980s, statistics began to show a startling increase in depression among young children and a dramatic increase in teenage suicides.
Research on the brains of suicide victims has indicated that they tend to have an abnormality in the production and use of serotonin, one of the many chemical messengers that brain cells use to communicate. Other research indicates that while the tendency to suffer from depression may be inherited, it is also impacted by biochemical and environmental influences, such as the reduced light during the winter months which results in seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in some people.
We can't tell you that the Feingold diet will cure depression, because there has not been enough research on such a connection; we can, however, tell you that hundreds of parents have reported that their own or their child's depression has been lifted by simply removing the additives.