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Editorial Issue 34

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 34 - November 1998

Happiness and Depression have become two of the most common, everyday words we bandy about. Yet, whereas talking, writing and giving seminars about how to achieve happiness can be a highly respectable (and lucrative) occupation, even admitting to be depressed can provoke dire, even life-long consequences, denying one the access to work in certain professions, or even the right to manage your affairs. Not to mention the possibility of being confined (sectioned) against your will by relatives or health professionals if you are not resigned to your possibly miserable or even tragic circumstances.

Considering the lives that most of us have led, with their sometime catastrophic episodes of abuse, failure, rejection, misadventure, betrayal, serious illness or worse, it is probably entirely reasonable to assume that all of us have periods of definite non-happiness or even deep depression. And for good reason! Is cheerfulness or joy a normal or healthy response to bereavement, divorce, assault or bankruptcy? Would it be appropriate to feel happy when your child is desperately ill, or when your job is threatened? Be real!

Is it no wonder that if we don't wish to jeopardise our careers, our standing in the community, or even our mortgage or life insurance policies, that most of us have the good sense to keep our depressed feelings to ourselves? This subject was explored seriously in a recent issue of The Therapist, in which a nurse lost her job due to the fact that her depression and psychiatric help years previously were all listed in her records. Additionally, celebrated psychologist and prolific author Dorothy Rowe - an inspiring author I very much admire - has written about eight books about Depression, which I highly recommend.

And what about the often over-hyped notion of "happiness" which advertising agents portrays in all manner of images in order to market their products: as smiling, seductive, macho or rich people leaping into the air, into bed, or driving around precipitous cliffs in expensive cars. I ask you - what is happiness? Is it the feeling of support which comes from belonging to a group with a common bond (religion, spiritual group, club, cult, school, profession)? Is it the feeling of elation we feel when we are at the top of the world - passed our exams, fallen in love, achieved a gold medal? We all know from our elders and betters that money can't buy happiness and we all know how transitory feelings of joy and elation can quickly melt away when we fail an exam, lose our job, or become diagnosed with a serious illness.

We have all realised, either consciously or otherwise, that it is more socially acceptable to be happy than miserable or depressed. However, there is no universal definition or even requirement for happiness. What may make you happy - say, spending hours doing gardening, could be the epitome of sadistic torture to the next person.

I hope that Maggie Baker's article discussing Depression (see page 24), and her courage to reveal her story, will provide encouragement and inspiration for others down in the black depths of despair to be more honest about how they are feeling and coping with life.

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome a new group of prominent leaders from across the fields of Complementary Medicine from the University of Westminster who will be sharing authorship for a new Integrated Medicine column. These include Dr David Peters, Leon Chaitow, Mark Kane, Dr Brian Isbell and Gerri Harris. Please see pages 5-6 and the first column entitled We have to Educate to Integrate by Dr David Peters, page 24.

And, for readers suffering from health problems caused by environmental or food allergies, I would especially like to draw readers' attention to the following powerful articles on the subject in this issue: Migraines and Headaches (page 15), Oestrogens and Phytoestrogens (page 30), The Elimination Diet (page 35) and Allergies and the Mid-life Crisis (page 37).


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About Sandra Goodman PhD

Sandra Goodman PhD, Co-founder and Editor of Positive Health, trained as a Molecular Biology scientist in Agricultural Biotechnology in Canada and the US, focusing upon health issues since the 1980s in the UK. Author of 4 books, including Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art, Vitamin C – The Master Nutrient, Germanium: The Health and Life Enhancer and numerous articles, Dr Goodman was the lead author of the Consensus Document Nutritional and LifeStyle Guidelines for People with Cancer and compiled the Cancer and Nutrition Database for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre in 1993. Dr Goodman is passionate about making available to all people, particularly those with cancer, clinical expertise in Nutrition and Complementary Therapies. Dr Goodman was recently featured as Doctor of the Fortnight in ThinkWellness360.

Dr Goodman and long-term partner Mike Howell seek individuals with vision, resources, and organization to continue and expand the Positive Health PH Online legacy beyond the first 30 years, with facilities for training, to fund alternative cancer research, and promote holistic organizations internationally. Read about Dr Goodman and purchase Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art.  She may be contacted privately for Research, Lectures and Editorial services via:   and

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