Almost half of us will suffer from depression at some point in our lives, but the condition remains badly misunderstood and therefore often poorly treated at the heart of our collective difficulty with depression is a confusion about what it actually is and in particular how it can be Distinguished from a state that all of us know very well and with which it has a distracting number of similarities, namely sadness. It'S because we unwittingly tend to apply to cases of depression. A number of assumptions drawn from and better suited to an understanding of sadness that we end up suffering far more than we should, but there are on the surface some notable similarities between those who are sad and those who are depressed.
Both groups cry both withdraw from the world, both complain of listlessness and a sense of alienation from their normal lives, but there is one categorical difference between depression and sadness. The sad person knows what they are sad about. The depressed person doesn't sad. People can without difficulty, tell us what is troubling them, I'm sad that my grandmother has died or that I lost my job or that my friends are being unkind to me and though it might sound strange. This is precisely what the depressed person is not capable of doing.
They may be tearful and at a very low ebb, but they can't conclusively put a finger on what has drained life of meaning for them. They simply say it has no meaning per se. They aren't depressed about X or Y, as one might be sad about X or Y. They are first and foremost simply depressed. The inability of the depressed person to account concretely for their mood can lay them open to unwarranted charges of faking, malingering or exaggerating
Friends who begin in a well-meaning search for a soluble problem can end up frustrated by the lack of progress when pushed the depressed person May latch on to rather odd or minor sounding issues to account for their state. They might complain that there's no point going to work, because the earth is due to be absorbed by the Sun in seven and a half billion years, or they might insist that life lacks all meaning because they've just dropped a glass on the floor and everything is Now completely hopeless. At this stage, one can hear it said that, if depression doesn't have any sensible psychological causes, the problem must be bound up with some kind of imbalance in brain chemistry, which it would be kinder and more effective to treat with pills an idea of great appeal to The pharmaceutical industry, first and foremost, but also to worried families and schools and employers who crave rapid and cost-effective solutions. But there is another approach to depression which those slower and more arduous may be a great deal more effective in the long term.
This stems from insights, drawn from psychotherapy the discipline that has arguably been able to understand depression better than any other. The basic premise of psychotherapy is that the depressed person isn't depressed as they suggest for no reason there is a reason they are very distressed about something, but that something is proving extremely difficult to take on board and has therefore been pushed into the outer zones of Consciousness from where it wreaks havoc on the whole person prompting boundless feelings of nihilism fir depressives realizing what they are concretely upset about would be too devastating, so they unconsciously choose to remain dead to everything, as opposed to very distraught about something
Depression is sadness that has forgotten its true causes forgotten because remembering may generate overwhelming untenable feelings of pain and loss. What might these true causes be perhaps that we've married the very wrong person or that our sexuality isn't what we once believed or that with furious with a parent for their lack of care in our childhood? In order to preserve a fragile peace of mind, one then chooses, though, that may sound more willed than it is in reality to be depressed rather than to have a realization. We pick unceasing numbness as protection against dreadful insight to make things yet more difficult.
The depressed person doesn't typically consciously feel that they are in fact lacking insight, they're, not aware of a gap in their self understanding. Furthermore, they are nowadays often taught to assume that they are just depressed, as one might be physically ill, a verdict that can be of appeal as much to the pharmaceutical industry as to certain people close to the patient, with an interest in insights remaining buried.
There'S another key difference to note between sadness and depression. Sad people are grief-stricken about something out in the world, but they aren't necessarily sad about themselves. Their self-esteem is unaffected by their grief, whereas depressed people will characteristically feel wretched about themselves and be full of self-recrimination guilt. Shame and self-loathing paranoia that may a tragic extremes culminate in suicidal thoughts for psychotherapy, the origins of these violent moods of self-hatred line. Anger do fall but unable to be directed towards someone else in the world. That has then turned against the sufferer wrathful feelings that should have gone count: words towards a partner whose relentlessly defensive or denies one sex or a parent who humiliated one in childhood.
These feelings are instead driven back onto the sufferer and starts to attack them. The feeling X is horribly. Let me down turns into a very unpleasant, but in some ways more bearable, I'm an unworthy and unbearable wretch one becomes self-hating as a defence against the risks of hating. Someone else also worth noting in all this is that in many cases, depression is associated with an apparently opposite mood, a kind of euphoric state termed mania. Hence the term manic depressive. The mania in question looks from a distance a bit like happiness and just like depression can look like sadness, but in one area in particular, the relationship between mania and happiness is identical to that between depression and sadness.
The common element is a disavowed self-knowledge in mania. One is euphoric, but cannot go into one's own deep mind and discover its bitter truths, which explains one of the leading characteristics of manic people, the habit of being in flight from themselves. Talking too much about nothing over exercising drinking working continuously or spending too much all As an escape from a submerged grief, rage or loss. It is from this kind of diagnosis that has suggested cure emerges.
What people in depression need, above all, is a chance to arrive at insight for this. They will tend to need a hugely supportive and patient listener. They may also used appropriately benefit from temporary use of medication to lift their mood just enough so that they can endure a conversation, but the assumption isn't that brain chemistry is where the problem either begins or ends. The despair is caused by an undigested, unknown and unresolved. Also far from needing to be taken through reasons to trust that life is beautiful, depressives must be allowed to feel and to remember specific damage and to be granted a fundamental sense of the legitimacy of their emotions. They need to be allowed to be angry and for the anger to settle on the right awkward targets. The goal in treating depression is to move a sufferer from feeling limitlessly despairing to mourning the loss of something in particular the last 20 years, a marriage, a hope,