Symptoms of depression were the same whether it was referred to as depression or clinical depression. The only difference was that my clients had a great deal more anxiety about clinical depression. It made them feel helpless and as if they had an incurable disease for which the only treatment was medication and suffering side effects. There was not one iota of distinction between the two labels. I called several psychiatrists in town, the ones I trusted and sent my clients to when they needed medication, and everyone one of them was blown away by the new philosophy emerging that encouraged medication for depression. Many of the anti-depressants made clients even more depressed, even suicidal, and many took their own lives. I was horrified. I wrote to the AMA but I got no responses. I wrote to the drug companies but, again, got no responses.
Studies have since come out making it clear that walking 20 minutes a day can lift depression as significantly as any drug-- and without side effects. For those taking anti-depressants and swearing by them, this is not a statement that you should stop what works for you. But as a psychotherapist of over 30 years I am clearly remarking on what I have seen in my practice.
Here are some items to consider:
- Grief is often confused with depression. We all need to grieve. It is part of the biological healing process. Allow yourself to feel your feelings, don't get scared, get support. You are meant to feel grief.
- Depression is tightly connected and woven into our beliefs. What are you thinking?
- Actions effect our moods. List your actions taken to feel better. Are you proactive or reactive?
Jan Marquart LCSW