Maureen McCormick may not be beating the competition on "Dancing With The Stars" but she is outdancing depression. She's in a healthier place today and it could be thanks in part to "DWTS." In a recent appearance on "The Doctors" McCormick revealed a long, sad history of depression and antidepressant use. But the good news was that McCormick was able to quit antidepressants and find a semblance of peace within mood disorders. A long-time promoter of weight loss and health, Maureen has found mojo in fitness. Many DWTS performers, like Amber Rose, danced their butt offs and lost weight. Where did Maureen's mood issues stem from and could one dance depression away?

Maureen McCormick: "child star syndrome"

A former star on the "The Brady Bunch" McCormick's real life was at odds with the popular "Marcia Brady" role. Like so many child stars, McCormick struggled with drug addiction, eating disorders and mental health issues. She was able to beat her cocaine habit but wrestled with weight problems off and on for years. Mood disorders were constant companions. These experiences have plagued Hollywood child stars since time immemorial. There's no place to hide from the "aren't you so-and-so on such-and-such show?" notoriety. You could call it "child star syndrome." Almost all celebrity kids have dealt with depression, social anxiety, substance abuse or self-esteem issues in adulthood.

It almost seems the bigger they were as kids the harder they fall.

Natural high in exercise

Several years ago, McCormick lost weight with diet and exercise. After a while she was able to wean herself off the antidepressants she'd been on for years. Her appearance on DWTS is tribute to the healthy, stronger, happier place she's in.

Maureen said that even though she didn't score too high on her first dances, she's not unhappy. She's loving just being on the show. That's a major accomplishment for someone with depression. Every criticism or setback feels like unendurable blame, shame and failure. So does dance give that natural high?

Absolutely, physical exertion releases endorphins (feel good hormones) and producestryptophan which produces serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that relays messages to the brain. Depressed people have low serotonin and confused brains. Antidepressants work to boost serotonin but so does exercise. So yes, you could outdance the blues and kick depression butt!

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