Making Good Use of Depression
"Depressed, I have crawled on my hands and knees in order to get across a room and have done it for month after month. But normal or manic I have run faster, thought faster, and loved faster than most I know."
Kay Redfield Jamison
be a profoundly damaging and disrupting condition,
spiritually and psychologically corrosive, preventing us
from living fully and realizing our talents. But a number of
people also say the experience has had real value for them.
her bipolar disorder, she has said, "I have felt more
things, more deeply. I have often asked myself whether,
given the choice, I would choose to have manic-depressive
lithium were not available to me, or didn't work for me, the
answer would be a simple no... and it would be an answer
laced with terror.
"I honestly believe that as a result of it I have felt more things, more deeply; had more experiences, more intensely; loved more, and have been more loved... laughed more often for having cried more often; appreciated more the springs, for all the winters."
her book An
Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness.]
lot of us experience some kind of depression.
The National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 21
million American adults, or about 9.5 percent of the U.S.
population age 18 and older in a given year, have a mood
disorder, including major depression, dysthymia (chronic,
mild depression), and bipolar disorder.
Depressive disorders often co-occur with anxiety disorders and substance abuse. And 10 to 20 percent of women in the U.S. develop postpartum depression in the first year after childbirth.
Christensen from the book Crying
Men, by photographer Sam Taylor-Wood.]
the other hand, James
T. Webb, Ph.D. notes in his article Mis-Diagnosis
Dual Diagnosis.. (and
his related book) that
"Many gifted and talented children (and adults) are being
mis-diagnosed by psychologists, psychiatrists,
pediatricians, and other health care professionals.
are many effective ways to treat or manage "real"
depression, including medications, cognitive therapy and
herbal preparations such as St. John's Wort.
research indicates antidepressants may only be helpful for
some forms of profound depression - not for most people who
are being widely prescribed common SSRI medications.
Barber (author of Comfortably
How Psychiatry Is Medicating a Nation) notes that
"Close to 10 percent of men and women in America are now
taking drugs to combat depression."
his article The
Americans: Antidepressant Prescriptions on the Rise
(Scientific American Mind, February, 2008) he speculates on
some of the reasons for such a high level: "What modern
psychiatry has done, I am convinced, is to conflate and
confuse the two, Depression and depression.
Healy, in Let Them Eat Prozac (NYU Press, 2004), calls it 'a
creation of depression on so extraordinary and unwarranted a
scale as to raise questions about whether pharmaceutical and
other health care companies are more wedded to making
profits from health than contributing to it.'
2007 study at New York University showed that about one in
four people who appears to be depressed and is treated as
such is in fact dealing with the aftermath of a recent
emotional blow, such as the end of a marriage, the loss of a
job or the collapse of a business."
D. Kramer (author of Listening
Prozac) wrote in an article about some potential
benefits: "Much of what we value - our understanding of
beauty, profundity, even romance - has been crafted by
melancholics. Perhaps we were not so wrong in the '60s when
we imagined sadness might contain a germ of resistance to a
culture thriving on competition, consumption and celebrity.
in a time when people demand serenity as if it were the
human condition, one cheer for melancholy hardly seems
"Why I'm in Favor of Sadness" Self magazine, July, 2001]
the arts, he examines the work of philosophers, painters and
writers in relation to the reputation their personal lives
have earned (critics and consumers alike believe that pain
equals genius and lack of pain equals lack of depth).
Dineson, Bellow, Updike and Kierkegaard to the list headed
by van Gogh, Kramer shows a variety of ways we live with the
assumption that creative genius does not function without
severe emotional strain."
it be at all helpful to us?
"I'm definitely a melancholist. I think there's beauty in being the life of the party, but I just don't understand it."
Actor Rachel Griffiths
Book: Depression As an Opportunity for Spiritual Growth,
Cheri Huber summarizes depression as "emptiness, exhaustion,
and meaninglessness" but sees it as an opportunity for
everything else in life," Huber writes, "depression is an
ally, a gift. It has something to teach us. Depression
brings me back to myself in a way much of life does not. It
gets my attention. It says, 'Stop! Pay attention!'
Depression allows us to see the cause of our suffering, to
see who we are, to embrace ourself in compassion, and to let
go and end the suffering."
[Image: Saint Teresa]
Related Talent Development Resources pages:
anxiety........anxiety / fear / courage articles .....
anxiety relief : products / programs.........anxiety relief : books
Bipolar disorder....... Depression and Creativity.......Hypomania
depression [page 1/4]..... depression : teen/young adult.
depression : teen/young adult 2. articles books.....
depression articles........depression management articles
depression relief : products / programs......depression books
mental health......mental health : teen/young adult
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Misdiagnosis And Dual Diagnoses Of Gifted Children And Adults: Adhd, Bipolar, Ocd, Asperger's, Depression, And Other Disorders
HBC Protocols - herbal treatments