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Volume 7 • #7 • July 2006


There is a psychiatrist who works at McLean Hospital near Boston named Doctor Fredric Schiffer, who is a man after my own heart. He specializes in the treatment of serious depression.  Well, so do a lot of other people. The media would have you believe that depression is more common these days than the common cold, and every drug company in the United States has hopped on the gravy train and developed some drug to treat it.  One trouble with this “let’s just take a pill” mentality, which has settled over the United States like an ugly cloud, is that there are always side effects when you put some drug into your body.

I often wish for the days when I was growing up when no drug that required a prescription was allowed to be advertised.  If you needed something stronger than aspirin it  had to be prescribed by a doctor after he had presumably checked you out in the office.  Nowadays, the ads say,  “Ask your doctor whether  ------- is right for you!” They don’t remind you that “asking your doctor” would set you back some big bucks for an appointment and maybe take several weeks of waiting.  Or that your doc may have been heavily encouraged by drug companies to recommend their product.  Or that the side effects may well include addiction. 

The situation with depression has gotten so bad that people are finally beginning to look into non-chemical ways of treating it.  You often read about meditation (takes years to learn) bio-feedback, (needs intensive training and practice)  and a variety of other ways of hopefully controlling brain waves mentally instead of chemically.  The only trouble with all this is that it is totally impractical for kids.  Easier just to put them on a pill so at least they won’t throw spitballs in class and bother the teacher. Today routinely putting dyslectic children on ritalin, alderall, or their ilk is getting to be a national disgrace, even though no anti-depressant drug has ever taught a kid to read.

Enter my hero, Dr. Schiffer. Some years ago, he developed a remarkably effective treatment for clinical depression which he has written up in an interesting book called,  “Of Two Minds.” His treatment is not chemical, doesn’t take half a lifetime to learn, works on adults and kids alike and has no side effects. He found that visual stimulation of one hemisphere in isolation could significantly reduce depression, and he devised some simple but ingenious glasses that do just that.  Of course we who use RfS already stimulate the left hemisphere with isolated auditory input. But before we tried the Schiffer glasses, we had no way to activate the language area visually. Now we do.

So we get a double whammy.  We take care of both reading and depression in one pop.  A slow corpus callosum is the real villain in the piece. With the ears, we simply don’t use the thing.  With the eyes, the brighter signal from the Schiffer glasses crosses the CC faster, taking care of the visual delay that way. Use them together, and bingo, the kid learns to read ----- without putting anything into his innards.

Thank you, Dr. Schiffer!!!



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