Like a wild fire, depression is spreading globally. However, doctors still consider depression an enigmatic illness and people with depression still carry a social stigma in the 21th century. Studies found that two hubs of brain circuits are damaged in depressed patients, which results in the brain being in a disconnection mode, with many functional networks disconnected. Depression is not as simple as feeling sad, since sadness is a normal emotion, whereas depression is an abnormal emotion—not feeling anything at all. Depression is a pathological state of emotional numbness because of the disconnection mode. This feeling is reminiscent of physical numbness caused by cold temperatures.
What caused damage in these hubs in the brain?
Pain. As fire-cooked foods improved human ancestors’ brain, ice-cold intakes are damaging human brain in the modern time. Pain is the body’s alarm to danger. Ice can pull the cold alarm robustly, because the body codes ice as burning cold. Indeed, these hubs are located in the pain matrix in the brain. Cold pain is ubiquitous: many pain killers, including Tylenol, aim to suppress the cold sensor. One common pain is an ice-cream headache, also known as the “brain freeze.”
Depression has been called the “common cold” of mental illness: symptoms from the cold are similar to that from depression. Hot chicken soup has been used as “Grandma’s Penicillin.” Studies found that hot temperature has an anti-inflammatory effect whereas cold temperature promotes viral growth. No wonder seasonal flu occurs in the winter, as seasonal depression does. Cold intakes cool the digestive tract, creating chances for an all-season flu and an all-season depression.
In 1998, a distinguished psychiatrist reported a changing trend in America: depression, known previously as a “housewife disorder” before the 1960s, had become a “teenage disorder.” Chinese women avoid cold intakes during postpartum periods, and postpartum depression is not observed in Chinese society. While Chinese women avoiding cold intakes can prevent the “housewife disorder,” American teenagers consuming cold intakes gain the “teenage disorder.” The risk of global warming has been recognized, but that of drink cooling remains a blind spot.
This book discusses many symptoms of depression and explains the causal effects from cold intakes. In conventional medicine, brain stimulation therapies require surgeries or heavy medication. This book introduces a noninvasive brain stimulation therapy, and other self-control methods for treating depression.
The author is a family member of a depressed patient, and a research scientist at the University of Michigan.
The book is available for purchase at