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Fighting Depression with Words

Did you know that Peter Mark Roget, the creator of Roget’s Thesaurus, wrote lists upon lists of words as a way to fend of depression? A new biography about Roget, called The Man Who Made Lists, claims that the wordsmith would find solace in thinking of synonyms for words and felt that it warded off the symptoms of deep depression. With a grandmother, sister and daughter who both suffered from the condition, Roget rigorously worked on his thesaurus. The biography’s author, Joshua Kendall, believes that these lists gave Roget another world to repair.
 
It’s unclear if this practice really did fend off depression, but experts like Jesse H. Wright, M.D., Ph.D., suggest that depression patients would benefit from staying active and positive to combat symptoms. [Reuters]

Posted: 3/28/08