What's Your Problem? Alternative Remedies for Ubiquitous Maladies

Diagnosis #1. MELANCHOLY Sign Up For Our Daily Newsletter Sign Up Thank you for signing up! By clicking submit, you

circa 1930: Hollywood film star, Dorothy Sebastian (1903 - 1957) undergoing treatment for bronchial congestion with a sun-ray lamp at MGM studios. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

Diagnosis #1. MELANCHOLY

Sign Up For Our Daily Newsletter

By clicking submit, you agree to our <a rel="noreferrer" href="http://observermedia.com/terms">terms of service</a> and acknowledge we may use your information to send you emails, product samples, and promotions on this website and other properties. You can opt out anytime.

See all of our newsletters

Before Daylight Savings Time ends on Nov. 6, and we wake up to a pitch-black morning in our narrow, airshaft view apartment, we’re picking up a FeelBright Light (sadlight.com). The miniature sun lamp (proven to alleviate the symptoms of Season Affective Disorder) can be attached to the underside of a hat brim for sunshine all day.

For talk therapy, we may try the Treatment Center (247 East 82nd Street) of the New York Psychoanalysis Institute. Their specialty is low-cost analysis for footloose and insurance-free single women “struggling with relationship issues and to find themselves as independent adults with a modification of their relationships to their mothers”—a demographic usually priced out of regular therapy. (Alvy Singer had to pony up for Annie Hall’s analysis, and that was ’77, when it was still chic.)

No one’s talked about St. John’s wort (supplementwarehouse.com), a.k.a. hypericum, since around the time Prozac Nation came out, but it still works roughly as well as Elizabeth Wurtzel’s panacea, according to some clinicians. (And unlike analysis, it still costs much less.) Another from the herb garden, lavender, reduced depression scores in residents of college dorms and hospice centers alike. There’s a lavender massage at Aura Wellness Spa (49 West 33rd Street) and D.I.Y. supplies at Enfleurage (321 Bleecker Street).

Exercise (though the mere suggestion makes us blue) relieves the symptoms of clinical depression so reliably some doctors are thinking of prescribing it. We’re no shrink, but we couldn’t help but notice Alec Baldwin, who confessed severe depression in his 2009 memoir, A Promise to Ourselves, is much sunnier since taking up with the beautiful young yogini Hilaria Thomas. She teaches at Yoga Vida (99 University Place), for reference.

Pharmaceutical stalwarts can catch a lecture from Dr. Ivan K. Goldberg, “the wizard of psychopharmacology,” hosted by the Mood Disorders Support Group (Bernstein Pavilion, Beth Israel Hospital, 15th Street between First and Second avenues). The organization also hosts rap sessions for unipolar depression and bipolar disorder, including a special one for 20-somethings, the most common age of onset.


What's Your Problem? Alternative Remedies for Ubiquitous Maladies