The way we talk about depression in our culture is … making me feel depressed. It just seems like something's gotten lost along the way, or misconstrued — as if somehow in trying to figure all of this out our humanity’s been lost.
Some people say that depression is a “disease,” and that there's a pill for it, but the pills don't seem to work very well.
What if everything you've ever been told about this is wrong?
What if you're receiving a message from within? An invitation to look at something in your life that needs your attention?
Look: I'm a clinical psychologist and, including my training years, I've been at this for well over a decade. I’ve worked in mental hospitals, chemical dependency centers, you name it — and I have never worked with someone who was depressed who didn't have a reason, on some level, to feel that way.
They might not have known WHY they were depressed when they first came to see me, but it never took long before we uncovered what was causing the ache underneath.
In the field of mental health, as opposed to internal medicine, we call something a "disease" in part so that it won’t be misconstrued as a personal failing or a weakness but this is a false binary.
Just because something isn’t a disease doesn’t make it your fault, but if you take yourself out of the equation — if you remove from yourself the personal responsibility to DO something about it — you also take away your power.
So many of us are afraid to look within, or to recognize that our feelings have meaning, because we fear that we’re going to have to do something with that information once it comes to light.
We might have to give something, or someone, up.
We might have to make a change.
But if you really had to choose — to really choose between not changing and this gray blanket that’s hovering over your head every damn day, would you really choose the blanket?
If this article is resonating with you, what do you need to be looking at? What in your life deserves your attention? What are you running from, or pushing away?