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Wellness Wisdom Newsletter

                                                                 NEWS ARCHIVES

Stand Up, Sit Less You might want to stand up for this. A growing amount of research suggests that just standing -- even if you don't walk around -- can have health benefits.

A recent study in Australia found that participants who spent time more standing and moving in the course of a week, based on a sensitive monitor adhered to their thigh, had lower levels of blood sugar and cholesterol. The benefits were even greater, and including reductions in body-mass index and waist circumference, among those who took more steps during the day.

The researchers of the study boiled down their findings to the simple message: "Stand up, sit less, move more." The study was published last week in the European Heart Journal.

Although the research has been pretty clear that there are health benefits to not sitting, we are just starting to understand that standing alone may be a good alternative, said Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, director of preventive cardiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Lopez-Jimenez wrote an editorial that accompanied the study in the European Heart Journal.

"The reason [standing could be good] is because when we stand there are many muscles in our legs and butt and abdomen that are working to keep you standing," he said. "Whenever muscle is used, it consumes sugar and affects triglycerides," which could, in turn, lower cholesterol, Lopez-Jimenez said. Standing regularly could translate into lower diabetes and heart disease risk, he added.

Not just exercise

he current U.S. guidelines for physical activity focus on formal exercise, rather than just moving, and recommend at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise such as jogging or biking. However, research suggests that even people who exercise face increased risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes if they are otherwise sedentary.

Lopez-Jimenez thinks the lack of guidelines on sedentary behavior are "a problem because we have to start shifting the attention and consider more the idea of avoiding sitting." We need recommendations about many hours to avoid sitting, just like we have for the number of hours we should sleep, he added.

However it is hard to say exactly how to break up our nonsitting time between standing, walking and other activities because we don't know enough about their different health benefits, Lopez-Jimenez said.
In Australia, there are already specific recommendations about how much you should stand and how to do it. It is the first country to have such guidelines, Lopez-Jimenez said. In Colombia, government computers have software that pause the machines, forcing employees to take a break.

For now, Lopez-Jimenez advises his patients to engineer their lives to be less sedentary such as using a standing desk at work and taking the stairs whenever possible.

If we can manage to build more movement into our everyday activities, it might even be possible to skip the gym, although research is needed to address this possibility, Lopez-Jimenez. "If you barely sit during the day, do you really have to exercise to be healthy?" he said.


Asian exercises, such as yoga, tai-chi, and qigong, all emphasize the importance of standing posture-after all, man is created to stand, not to sit or lie down (he does that only when he is supposed to rest or sleep). Standing is important to health, but good standing posture is even more important because it affects your breathing, which plays a pivotal part in your overall wellness.

Go to my web page
Good Posture for more information on how to have healthy posture to have correct breathing for overall wellness of the body, the mind, and the soul.

Stephen Lau


(CNN) The face of heroin abuse in America is changing.

Back in the 1960s, heroin users were usually young men, who started using around an average age of 16. They were most likely from low-income neighborhoods, and when they turned to opiates, heroin was their first choice.

Today's typical heroin addict starts using at 23, is more likely to live in the affluent suburbs and was likely unwittingly led to heroin through painkillers prescribed by his or her doctor.

While heroin is illicit and opioid pills such as oxycontin are FDA-approved, each is derived from the poppy plant. Their chemical structures are highly similar and they bind to the same group of receptors in the brain. (A few opioids, like fentanyl, are totally synthetic but designed to bind with those same receptors).

In any case, the various drugs produce the same result: an increase in pain tolerance and a sense of euphoria, along with drowsiness, occasional nausea and, at higher doses, a slowing of the user's breathing.

All these drugs trigger "tolerance" -- the need to take higher doses for the same effect -- and a craving for the drug in its absence.

It is precisely because there are so many similarities that pain pill addicts frequently turn to heroin when pills are no longer available to them.

Heroin is usually cheaper than prescription drugs. Opiate pain medications cost the uninsured about $1 per milligram; so a 60-milligram pill will cost $60. You can obtain the equivalent amount of heroin for about one-tenth the price.
This may be news to you, but it's likely not to some of your neighbors, friends and family members.

Last year, the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte spent time trying to better understand the patients who were coming into detox for heroin. What they found were cops, lawyers, nurses and ministers who came from some of the best neighborhoods in the area.

Most of them shared a common story: "We used to take pills, but now we inject heroin."
For years, we have been railing about the flagrant abuse of pain pills in the United States. Former President Bill Clinton called me a couple years ago after he lost two friends to accidental prescription drug overdose. As we dug into the issue together, we were stunned to learn 80% of the world's pain pills are consumed in the United States, which has just 5% of the world's population.

As a result, accidental prescription drug overdose is now the leading cause of acute preventable death for Americans. Someone dies in this manner every 19 minutes. That is more deaths than from car accidents.


First and foremost, we have to avoid pain. Without pain, there is no need for painkillers. Other than from accidents, much of our physical pain is self-inflicted. If we don’t take care of our health, pain due to disease and disorder is unavoidable. Our diet and lack of exercise is the underlying cause of much of our physical pain.

Of course, our pain tolerance level varies. But do not readily turn to over-the-counter pain-killer medications. They do not kill our pain; they kill our pain tolerance-worse, they are toxic chemicals that kill our power to recover and rejuvenate. Use
diet, especially anti-inflammatory diet, to avoid pain, thereby instrumental in avoiding the use or overuse of painkillers.

Stephen Lau


CNN) One of your favorite activities may actually be killing you.

Our entire modern world is constructed to keep you sitting down. When we drive, we sit. When we work at an office, we sit. When we watch TV, well, you get the picture.

And yet, a new study that's running in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that this kind of sedentary behavior increases our chances of getting a disease or a condition that will kill us prematurely, even if we exercise.
Researchers from Toronto came to this conclusion after analyzing 47 studies of sedentary behavior.

They adjusted their data to incorporate the amount someone exercises and found that the sitting we typically do in a day still outweighs the benefit we get from exercise. Of course, the more you exercise, the lower the impact of sedentary behavior.

The studies showed sedentary behavior can lead to death from cardiovascular issues and cancer as well as cause chronic conditions such as Type 2 diabetes.
Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth-leading risk factor for death for people all around the world, according to the World Health Organization.

Prolonged sitting, meaning sitting for eight to 12 hours or more a day, increased your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 90%.

So what can you do to reduce the time you spend engaged in an activity that is not good for you?

The study authors did make some simple suggestions to help you sit less. One is to just be aware of how much you are sitting. That way you can make a goal of reducing that number a little bit each week.
If you are at work, you could try a standing desk or make it a goal to stand up or walk around for a minute or three once every half an hour.
If you watch TV at night, don't zoom ahead during the commercials with your DVR. Instead walk around or at least stand up during the show break.


The bottom line: don’t sit there; do something about your immobility. You can exercise anytime and anywhere if you wish to.

Stephen Lau


(CNN) Fighting Belly Fat

For a lot of people, fighting belly fat is part of their New Year's resolution. But for me it's a lifelong mission.

Growing up as a fat kid in the 1980's, I figured there was nothing I could do about my growing girth.

My dad was obese, and I was well over 200 pounds by the time I was 14. I'd inherited the "fat genes."

Then, at the still-young age of 52, my father passed away from a sudden, massive stroke.

I was his son. Would this be my fate too?

I started fighting back. First, by exercising like mad and becoming a marathon runner. Then by trying just about every diet under the sun.

But the more I learned about belly fat -- and the more I understood how deadly it could be -- the more I knew I had to find an answer that was easy, effective, and worked for everyone.

I called this approach "Zero Belly." It's aim is to reduce inflammation, end bloating and turn off your fat-storage genes.

Belly fat -- what medical experts call "visceral fat" -- is the stuff that gathers in our guts, pushing out our bellies.

It has been linked directly to almost every major illness of our time, including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, liver disease, diabetes, and yes, stroke.

Zero Belly is based on the breakthrough science of "nutritional genetics." That's the study of how certain foods trigger our fat genes to turn on, or off.

In early 2014 I put together a panel to test-drive the Zero Belly program, and I've been stunned by the results: The average person lost 4 inches off their waist -- in just six weeks.

The key to this program is a scientifically proven eating program that targets your fat genes -- turning them to "off" and making weight loss automatic.

There's no calorie counting, no deprivation.

Zero Belly works in three ways:

(1) It reduces bloating by cutting down on excess salt, dairy and artificial sweeteners, all of which can give you a "food baby". Some of the test panelists lost up to 3 inches of bloat off their waist in just 7 days.

(2) It heals your gut by feeding the "good" microbes in your belly. A balanced gut reduces inflammation and helps to turn off your fat genes.

(3) It turbocharges your metabolism with lean protein, healthy fats and quality fiber. Once you deactivate your fat-storage genes, you don't have to worry about counting calories.

You just have to make sure you're eating the right combination of foods.

There are nine simple foods that I built into a list that's easy to remember since it spells out "zero belly:" including:

"Zero belly drinks," drinks that are essentially plant-based smoothies that include protein, healthy fat, and fiber and contain resveratrol. Resveratrol can be found in abundance in red fruits, peanut butter and dark chocolate.

Eggs contain a nutrient called choline. Researchers believe it turns off the genes for visceral fat gain.

Red fruits like an apple can be some of the healthiest foods to eat. The deeper the color, the more effective they are at helping turn off obesity genes.

Olive oil and other healthy fats can help control hunger for up to four hours.

Beans, rice, oats and other fiber can work with your gut bacteria to turn off genes for diabetes. Oatmeal is a great way to start the day and if it is a little sweet it may satisfy your sweet tooth.

Extra plant protein can be found in soy or split peas or nuts and seeds like almonds, pecans or sunflower seeds. You can also add a plant-based protein powder to any smoothie you'd make.

Lean meat can help keep your metabolism high. Lean meats include skinless chicken breast, the white meat part of the turkey or the lean cuts of beef (will often have the word "loin" or "round" in the name).

Leafy greens, green tea and bright vegetables can help reduce inflammation and help turn off fat-storage genes. Bright, colorful vegetables also add color and crunch to your meal plan.

Your favorite spices and flavors like cinnamon, ginger and even dark chocolate can reduce inflammation and attack your fat genes.


I strongly agree with the above in belly fat control, which has much to do with all-round weight loss. Weight management plays a pivotal part in our holistic health of the body, the mind, and the soul. Weight management is not about counting calories, or even eating less; it has much to do with the mind, which controls the body.

Stephen Lau


CNN) Epidemic of Overtreatment of Prostate Cancer Must Stop -- Prostate cancer is a significant disease in the U.S. In 2014 alone, the American Cancer Society estimates, 233,000 men will be diagnosed and 29,480 will die of it.
This week, two important studies showing how prostate cancer is treated in the U.S. were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

The findings should cause those of us who treat prostate cancer and the organizations that advocate for prostate cancer awareness to take notice. These studies found that a large number of American men with prostate cancer get unnecessary and aggressive treatment. In some cases, these treatments are known to be worthless and even harmful.

One study more than 20 years long and involving more than 60,000 men diagnosed with cancer confined to the prostate found that initial treatment with anti-androgen hormonal therapies is common. This study also confirmed previous research showing that this treatment in this population does not prolong survival.

This is a therapy that is appropriate for a small, well-defined group of men with prostate cancer. It is an unnecessary and harmful treatment for the majority of Americans prescribed it. The hormones used cause hot flashes, muscle weakness, osteoporosis and impotence in all who get it. These drugs also raise a man's risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death from cardiovascular disease.

A second study showed that there is significant variation in how physicians treat good-prognosis (low-grade, less aggressive) cancer confined to the prostate. A substantial number get unnecessarily aggressive surgical or radiation therapies. These unnecessary therapies are also associated with significant harms. They can cause urinary and bowel incontinence, sexual impotence and, in some cases, death.

A number of studies in the U.S. and Europe have shown that there is a type of prostate cancer that is localized to the prostate and of good prognosis, meaning it rarely progresses or causes harm if left alone.
All of the organizations that set treatment guidelines based on the scientific evidence recommend that men diagnosed with this type of cancer be carefully observed. These cancers can almost always be effectively treated if found to be progressing. With careful observation, the majority of
men will never need treatment and can be spared the burdens of unnecessary therapy.

These low-risk forms of prostate cancer are commonly diagnosed through screening and commonly overtreated in the U.S. Indeed, the massive problem of overtreatment and the resultant large number of harms to the population is part of the reason that a number of respected organizations such as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the American Academy of Family Physicians now recommend against routine prostate cancer screening.

These two studies form a long list of patterns of care studies showing that a number of American physicians who treat prostate cancer are not fulfilling this responsibility.


There are many reasons behind the overtreatment of prostate cancer. Firstly, medical organizations and pharmaceutical companies reap huge profits from treatment of prostate cancers. Even doctors get paid to treat prostate cancer patients. The public are also partly to blame for the epidemic of overtreatment: many of the patients demand aggressive cancer treatments due to their irrational fear of cancer and their refusal to believe that there are cancers that do not require any treatment.

Therefore, it is important to approach cancer with the right mindset, although the initial cancer diagnosis may be devastating. Read my book "Congratulations. You’ve Got Cancer" to find out how to use your mind to overcome cancer. For more information, click

Stephen Lau


(CNN) - HAPPINESS -- you know it when you see it, but it's hard to define. You might call it a sense of well-being, of optimism or of meaningfulness in life, although those could also be treated as separate entities. But whatever happiness is, we know that we want it, and that is just somehow good.

We also know that we don't always have control over our happiness. Research suggests that genetics may play a big role in our normal level of subjective well-being, so some of us may start out at a disadvantage. On top of that, between unexpected tragedies and daily habitual stress, environmental factors can bring down mood and dry up our thirst for living.

“Being able to manage the emotional ups and downs is important for both body and mind,” said Laura Kubzansky, professor of social and behavioral sciences at Harvard School of Public Health."For physical health, it's not so much happiness per se, but this ability to regulate and have a sense of purpose and meaning."

Why be happy?

Many scientific studies, including some by Kubzansky, have found a connection between psychological and physical well-being.

Qualifying Loneliness

A 2012 review of more than 200 studies found a connection between positive psychological attributes, such as happiness, optimism and life satisfaction, and a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease. Kubzansky and other Harvard School of Public Health researchers published these findings in the journal Psychological Bulletin. It's not as simple as "you must be happy to prevent heart attacks," of course. If you have a good sense of well-being, it's easier to maintain good habits: Exercising, eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep, researchers said. People who have an optimistic mindset may be more likely to engage in healthy behaviors because they perceive them as helpful in achieving their goals, Kubzansky said. Lower blood pressure, normal body weight and healthier blood fat profiles were also associated with a better sense of well-being in this study.

Your happiness type matters.

For now these studies can only show associations; they do not provide hard evidence of cause and effect. But some researchers speculate that positive mental states do have a direct effect on the body, perhaps by reducing damaging physical processes. For instance, another of Kubzansky's studies found that optimism is associated with lower levels of inflammation.

If what you mean by happiness is specifically "enjoyment of life," there's newer evidence to support that, too. A study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that people ages 60 and older who said they enjoyed life less were more likely to develop disability over an eight-year period. Mobility was also related to enjoyment of life. This study does not prove that physical problems are caused by less enjoyment of life, but suggests a relationship.


Happiness comes from your genes and environment. Happiness may increase according to income, and only up to a certain household income of $75,000, according to studies. Human happiness has much to do with human wisdom-the true wisdom to know who you really are, and not who you “think” you are. I have just published my book
A Better and Happier You with Tao Wisdom based on the ancient wisdom.

Stephen Lau


CNN) Depression a “powerful” risk factor for heart disease in young women.

Depression is as powerful a risk factor for heart disease as diabetes and smoking, study author Dr. Amit Shah, a cardiologist at Emory University in Atlanta, concluded.

Shah believes there's a biological reason as to why depression harms young females’ hearts in particular. Mechanisms underlying the association of depression and heart disease could be inflammation or hormonal regulation, the study author wrote. However, the exact reasons for the link are still unclear.

“When people get depressed, they stop taking care of themselves. And when they stop taking care of themselves, they get sick," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association, who was not involved the study.
On the other hand, when sick people don’t take care of themselves, they can also become depressed.

“Which comes first is always a challenge to know,” Steinbaum said.

Patients with cardiac disease risk factors such as high blood pressure or obesity usually know about their condition and get professional medical treatment. That’s not the case with depression, Shah says.“Part of the additional hurdle is the stigma in seeking care in the first place," Shah said. He hopes his study, published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, will help patients overcome the stigma of depression so it doesn’t get in the way of their health.

Some people don’t even recognize that they are depressed. Steinbaum recommends asking yourself: Am I bothered by feeling down, depressed or hopeless? Do I feel little interest or pleasure in doing things I normally enjoy?

“If you answer yes to either of those questions, then you might really have a problem with depression.”

“For many people, antidepressants are very beneficial and help them get rid of the depression,” said Dr. Charles L. Raison, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona. But he says treating the depression will not make cardiac disease disappear.

Yet there is something that can reduce your depression and your heart health, Raison says: “Because you don’t know that treating one will treat the other, you want to treat both. The way to treat both is exercise.”


Winter is upon us; many of us may get our winter blues. To avoid winter blues, get more real or even artificial sunlight, as well as vitamin D supplement. Of course, the best way to treat heart disease and depression is “exercise” as Dr. Raison suggests. Taking antidepressants is the last resource that may not be recommended unless the problems are serious and urgent. Drugs do not solve the basic problems; they only defer them. Depression is a complex mental issue that requires
rethinking the mind. It’s your past experiences and your memories, as well as your perceptions and interpretations of those experiences that are responsible for the dysfunction of your brain chemicals, causing your depression. If you don’t solve your life issues and problems, depression will recur and become more devastating, affecting your heart health.

Stephen Lau


(CNN) -- Adam Montgomery, taking 63 prescription drugs a day, died!

The modest clinic on Milpas Street in laid-back Santa Barbara, California, was well known to patients seeking powerful pain medication.
They went there to find the "Candy Man."

Dr. Julio Diaz earned that nickname because, according to court records, he was writing prescriptions for massive numbers of pills -- hundreds, even thousands, at a time. He prescribed medications like oxycodone, a powerful opioid pain killer that is highly addictive.

At the nearby Cottage Hospital, emergency room doctors noticed a pattern and sensed a problem.

"We communicate first with our patients and then with the primary care providers. We then began to see that there was a pattern and that clearly by far Dr. Diaz's prescribing stood out above any of the other physicians in the computer," Dr. Chris Lambert said.

Lambert found that Cottage Health documented more than 400 emergency room visits from Diaz's patients, according to court documents. Some were clearly dependent on opiates, he said, and others were seeking more pain medication.
"And of course we saw the complications, too," Lambert noted. Those complications included symptoms of severe drug withdrawal and overdoses.

The Medical Board of California, and eventually the Drug Enforcement Administration, were called to investigate. That investigation resulted in a laundry list of charges against Diaz including the over-prescription of narcotics, prescribing narcotics when there was no medical need, and illegal distribution of a narcotic to a person under the age of 21.

According to the DEA, there were a dozen overdose deaths associated with Diaz. Twenty-seven-year-old Adam Montgomery was one of them.

Montgomery started seeing Diaz after he injured his back on a construction job. He was seeking pain medication. He got it, and soon he was hooked.

As the months went by, Montgomery's parents noticed a change.

"Well, at some point, he started spending a lot of time in bed. And just watching TV, never doing anything," Adam's father, Robert Montgomery said. "And that seemed to get worse and worse. And then I noticed the color change in his face, his attitude, his love toward his family ...That all went away."

Montgomery slowly became aware that his son was addicted to oxycodone, and he called Diaz.

"I was seeing paperwork with hundreds of oxycodone pills," Montgomery told CNN. "I wanted to know why he was giving him so many." He says he never got an answer.

n an affidavit, the DEA alleges that in the six weeks before Adam Montgomery's death, Diaz prescribed him a total of 2,087 pills, an average of 63 pills a day.

On the day after Thanksgiving in 2011, Montgomery received the news that his son had died of a drug overdose. In Adam Montgomery's bedroom and car, investigators found bottles of multiple drugs, and some were empty. All were prescribed by Diaz.

The autopsy concluded that a cocktail of oxycodone, hydromorphone, alprazolam and methadone was the cause of death.

"Right now we have more people that are dying from prescription opioids than cocaine and heroin combined," said Robert Hill, a DEA special agent with years of experience on the front lines of the war on drugs.

Hill says that in 2011, the most recent year for which there are statistics, more than 22,000 people died from prescription drugs.


Hippocrates, the father of medicine, once said : “Let food be your medicine, and your medicine, your food.” Take a further step, let food be your “only” medicine. The human body has a built-in mechanism for self-healing, if given sufficient time and the right environment. “Sufficient time” means you do not readily reach out for a quick fix, such as drugs over the counter; the “right environment” means a detoxified body. For more information on self-healing, visit my website
Self-Healing Self-Help.

Stephen Lau


(CNNThe Comedian Who Struggled

As shocking as his death has been, Robin Williams was open about his issues with substance abuse and stints in rehab. He blamed his relapse into drinking for helping to end his second marriage.

"You know, I was shameful, and you do stuff that causes disgust, and that's hard to recover from," Williams told The Guardian in 2010. "You can say, 'I forgive you' and all that stuff, but it's not the same as recovering from it. It's not coming back."

The dark side of comedy

Even then it seemed that Williams was trying to find his way. Asked whether he was happier in his life, he responded "I think so. And not afraid to be unhappy. That's OK too. And then you can be like, all is good. And that is the thing, that is the gift."


Smart, successful, funny and handsome, Robin Williams seemed to have it all. And yet, he committed suicide. He said he was “shameful” of his drinking, substance abuse-or maybe of his divorces, who knows?

Shame is one of the most devastating human emotions. Shame is worse than guilt. The latter occurs when we regret over what we have done, and may prompt us to take some remedial action in the future; the former makes us feel badly about ourselves, humiliating us and lowering our self-esteem. It is not easy to get over the ego-self, especially for a celebrity. That the public may not be aware of only makes matters worse by creating the darker side of the self or the demon within the self that may relentlessly haunt the individual. That could have been the case with Robin Williams.

The bottom line: getting rid of the ego-self holds the key to true happiness, which is not based on any condition: such as, getting certain material things, relationships, and fame, among others. Happiness is a state of mind. Read my book
As If Everything Is A Miracle to find out how to “rethink” your mind about happiness and live your life as if everything is a miracle.

Stephen Lau


New ideas change your brain cells, research shows

According to Science Daily, Feb 24, 2014, “A new University of British Columbia study identifies an important molecular change that occurs in the brain when we learn and remember.

Published this month in Nature Neuroscience, the research shows that learning stimulates our brain cells in a manner that causes a small fatty acid to attach to delta-catenin, a protein in the brain. This biochemical modification is essential in producing the changes in brain cell connectivity associated with learning, the study finds.”

In other words, brain activity can change both the structure of this protein, as well as the function.


Use it or lose it, as with everything else in life. Your brain has billions of cells, and most of us use only approximately 10 percent of them. Harness your brain power, and think. Unfortunately, many of us prefer to vegetate ourselves in front of the television. Of course, watching a TV program may also stimulate the mind, but it’s a different kind of stimulation. We need to think: learn a new language, play a musical instrument, or even write a book. Albert Einstein said it right: "Thinking is hard, and that’s why so few people do it." If you don’t think, you cannot increase your wisdom; without wisdom, you cannot enhance the wellness of your body, mind, and soul.

Stephen Lau

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Talked about struggles

Carrie Fisher spoke openly about her struggles with alcoholism and bipolar disorder. She also was an advocate for mental health awareness and treatment.

"There are a couple of reasons why I take comfort in being able to put all this in my own vernacular and present it to you," she wrote in "Wishful Drinking," after detailing her diagnosis and an overdose incident. "For one thing, because then I'm not completely alone with it. And for another, it gives me a sense of being in control of the craziness."

She also spoke knowingly about the life of a celebrity. In a 2009 interview with CNN, Fisher said she was reluctant to enter the entertainment business because she saw what it did to her parents.

"Their bright, white, hot star of celebrity was slowly dimming and fading and cooling. It scared me. I saw what it did to them. It hurt them," she said.

People mistake celebrity for acceptance or love and believe they can maintain some "fantastic level" of fame forever, but that isn't the case, she said. Seeing what the effect that reality had on her parents led her to believe that "celebrity is just obscurity biding its time," Fisher told CNN.


Carrie was diagnosed with bipolar, just one of the many labels of depression.

Since early childhood, she demonstrated high risk for depression, when she became both mesmerized by the performances and successes of her parents, as well as consumed by the awareness of their transience and impermanence. She was hesitant about stepping into the shoes of her parents. Finally, she did, and she became depressed, leading to drug abuse and alcohol addiction that haunted her for decades.

Drug abuse and alcohol could not have changed Carrie's mental state because they were the norms, and not the exceptions in the struggle against depression. What could have changed the whole picture was the Carrie's recognition that all thing in life follow a natural cycle: what goes up must eventually come down; life inevitably and eventually begets death. This natural cycle continues in everyone's life, and it is just a matter of time.

The bottom line: attain achievement without glorification; excel without fanfare; do what you can with what you have, without expectations of results; most important of all, diminish the ego without its many attachments.

Stephen Lau