KU News Release


Feb. 21, 2012
Contact: Jessica Beeson, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 785-864-1767

Lecture with KU researcher to offer strategies to alleviate depression

Steve Ilardi


LAWRENCE – A University of Kansas professor who has developed a depression treatment based on lifestyle changes will share his research in a lecture called “Banish the Blues” on Thursday, Feb. 23, at Douglas County Senior Services in downtown Lawrence.

The presentation will feature Steve Ilardi, an associate professor of clinical psychology at KU and author of “The Depression Cure.” The event starts at 4 p.m. and is open to the public.

Ilardi will discuss his findings that humans were never designed for the modern pace of life, which can be both sedentary and frenzied, sleep-deprived and fast food-laden. As a result, depression rates have increased more than 20-fold in the last century. Pharmaceuticals are a common treatment, but Ilardi suggests there are other options that may be more effective.

In Ilardi’s work, he has created an alternative treatment borrowed from elements of the primitive human lifestyle. His research suggests that helping people reclaim healing habits from a way of life that was more physically active and socially connected can be an effective treatment for depression. Ilardi heads a large treatment study, dubbed the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change project, which calls for patients to adopt six healing elements from the ancient past.

In addition to positive results from his own ongoing research study, Ilardi points to low rates of depression among contemporary peoples whose lifestyles mirror those of our ancestors. The American Amish, for example, have rates of depressive illness far lower than that of the broader American population.

Ilardi’s research career has been focused on investigating the phenomenology and the successful treatment of depression. He is the author of more than 40 professional articles on mental illness. Through his active clinical practice, he has treated several hundred depressed patients.

“Banish the Blues” is part of the CLAS Acts lecture series sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which aims to take KU research off campus and into the community. Ilardi is a faculty member in the College. The event is co-sponsored by Douglas County Senior Services.

For more information about the event, contact Jessica Beeson by email or at 785-864-1767.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers dozens of diverse majors in natural sciences and mathematics, social and behavioral sciences, humanities, international and interdisciplinary studies, and the arts. More than 60 percent of KU students are enrolled in a major in the College, making it the largest academic unit on campus.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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