Depression

Anxiety is a very common part of depression. CBT is one tool to combat it.

This approach is inspired by the astonishing amounts of prescribed anti-depressants and the still increasing numbers of patients who suffer from depression.

The anti-depressants. There seems to be quite a bunch of people where the antidepressants don’t work. Which inclines that they have a “treatment-resistant depression”. Which sounds horrible! They’re trapped in their darkness forever!

We can’t possibly suffer from depression like this simply because we lack pills, can we?

If so, how come more pills are being prescribed simultaneously as people suffer more and more?

There’s got to be something else..?

It seems as if even more people thought it was worth living a few years ago. Depression was far from as common then as it is today. So if it’s not a question of pills, and it’s something practically trendy and modern, it ought to be a question of life somehow, right?

People and their lives and all their aspects are vast and complex. Life is hard. It’s full of troubles, issues, problems, and hassles: Murphy’s law, war, and evil. But plenty of people seem to find that it’s worth living anyway. They seem… provocatively content.

Perhaps the standard treatment we use doesn’t really treat the reason the patients feel as they do? The treatment-resistant depression is a term used in clinical psychiatry to describe a condition that affects people with major depressive disorder (MDD) who do not respond adequately to a course of appropriate antidepressant medication within a particular time. If you’ve been treated for depression, but your symptoms haven’t improved, “you may have treatment-resistant depression”. So then what?

Taking an antidepressant OR going through therapy eases depression symptoms for most people. But with treatment-resistant depression, standard treatments aren’t enough.

If you think medication is necessary might depend on how you look at it – and now we’re getting philosophical.

Is depression something natural and a sign that something’s not really right?

Is it something truly pathological? An illness where you need to “cure” it with medication?

Is it truly an illness, or rather just a bunch of symptoms?

Is hunger, thirst, or sleepiness worth medicating?

What determines when feelings are worth throwing pills at?

There’s plenty to be said and reflected on within this topic. Generally, to then be able to act on those insights. Depression isn’t necessarily something you cure passively or with just talk. Why it’s there is a big question to ask before concluding how it’s treated, but there are definitely other ways than through pure medication and nothing else. Acting to try to solve the problem might be necessary.

If we couldn’t and didn’t influence mental health with anything but pills, people would be far more depressed before discovering the drugs, which doesn’t seem to be the case. There’s something else at fault.

Is your life in order, or could the depressive symptoms be there for a good reason?

I’m fond of the old Stoics. It definitely seems as if they thought differently than most do today. That might help to get some perspective.

“To bear trials with a calm mind robs misfortune of its strength and burden.

Seneca

When I see an anxious person, I ask myself, what do they want? For if a person wasn’t wanting something outside of their own control, why would they be stricken by anxiety?

Epictetus

Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.

Epictetus

What upsets people is not things themselves, but their judgements about these things.

Epictetus

Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems.

Epictetus

The fun part of quoting one man four times in a row? That’s the reasoning of a slave. Epictetus even means “acquired”. That ought to be a reason to be depressed. But perhaps not?

Life will happen. You’ll have to care enough to make life happen as you’d like if you want it to be worth doing. Death is inevitable. It’ll happen to us all, and if you don’t care about how you live – do you care about IF you live? If life simply happens without you controlling it, it’s not unlikely it won’t be worth living. You’ll have to control it, or things will just happen, and it’s doubtful that you’ll like them. Why would you? Generally, there’s a small number of things we genuinely like and appreciate; if things just happen and we don’t make them happen, it’s so very unlikely that we’ll appreciate our environment, life, or ourselves. Luckily, it is highly possible to change one’s self. Get ambitions, find goals, and strive towards what you think might be worthwhile. Do you prefer to lie, cheat, steal, rape and murder, or would you prefer to do something helpful to others?

Do you have any depressive symptoms?

Do you feel…
… unreasonably bad disproportionately often? That’ll include sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, anger, irritability and frustration, worthlessness, guilt
… loss of interest in most of what used to amuse you, such as sex, hobbies, work?
… as if past mistakes bother you more now than they have done earlier?
… (more) anxious (than usual)?
… unmotivated and having a hard time to take initiative?
… tired and as if you lack energy so even small things get troublesome?
… as if you’re having trouble sleeping?
… more or less interested in food, so your weight has changed?
… generally slower in thought and perhaps even physically?
… as if your brain won’t really cooperate so thinking, memorizing and concentrating is harder?
… more morbid than before, drawn to death and thoughts about it? Perhaps even suicide?
… as if you’re more sensitive to pain and/or painful things have suddenly appeared?

Hopefully, you don’t suffer from all of them. But these are all common symptoms of depression. Quite often it’s treated with pills and nothing more. Pills could be an easy solution if it works. I really like what works. Does the pills work? Sometimes they’re good enough and people live decently as long as they keep eating them. Sometimes people get more symptoms from them and can’t live a normal life if they keep eating that poison… So, they’re out of options because that’s what they’ve been offered.

All of the issues mentioned earlier can be affected. If you want to, I’ll be your guide and help you. We’ll start by mapping out a far bigger picture of life than just the above and then work on pinpointing what’s causing trouble – and changing it.