George Mallinckrodt, LMHC
Few are those who have never suffered the ravages of depression. It can take many forms ranging from a mild deadening of emotions to full blown loss of energy and the will to live.
No one has discovered a genetic marker for depression which begs the question - how does a person develop a relationship with depression? It seems clear somewhere along life's journey a relationship of sorts between the two emerges. No one knows why the intensity of this relationship varies so greatly from person to person. Some clients I have worked with suffered severe traumas in their lives and remain relatively free from the influence of depression. Other clients can be deeply swayed by the clout of depression even though there is no clear cut event or trauma. The power of psychotherapy is that previously concealed mental constructs can be brought to light to illuminate the workings of depression in one's life.
It is extremely important to view depression as an unfriendly influence in one's life. Some treat depression as a lifelong friend instead of an enemy. Depression would have us be de-energized, lethargic, sleeping excessively, ignoring social interactions, and in some cases entertaining suicidal thoughts. From my experience, the enemy of depression is action. Even taking the smallest action steps can send a message to depression that its influence will not be tolerated. Many times clients surprise me with the rapidity in which they loosen the bonds they have with depression.
On a final note, I am flexible when it comes to anti-depressive medication. I will typically ascertain if a client can tough it out without medication. It is preferable to be drug free pharmaceutically and otherwise. The coping skills to dislodge, manage, and possibly end depression's manipulations are best when acquired through hard work in the face of adversity. Drugs are only a short term chemical coping strategy and a poor substitute for real coping skills, life strategies, and hard earned gains that will last a lifetime. If the severity of the relationship with depression is extreme, pharmaceuticals can provide benefit but should be abandoned at the earliest opportunity.
Coping with Depression Resources:
|© 2017 George Mallinckrodt|