It’s amazing what you can read on the internet.
Just this morning I came across the following article:
The article has some very good information about how to have a healthy lifestyle, but I was amazed by this blanket (and inaccurate) statement:
Depression is a lifelong, chronic condition, and it needs to be maintained like any other disease.
I’m sorry, but that’s just wrong. I’ve spent a lot of time working with people who are depressed. In many, if not most of the cases the depression is actually a strange sort of gift. It’s a warning light to let them know that something is wrong in their lives. It may be a relationship that needs addressing. Or it may be time to pursue that dream that they’ve put off for too long.
The depression may be a signal that it’s time to change an internal dialogue that keeps a person beaten down and feeling bad about themselves. It maybe time to give up the old family rules and roles that dictated who succeeded and who failed.
Depression may point out that how you’re living your life doesn’t match up to who and what you want to be. It may be the cry from your body and soul that it’s time to take care of yourself.
Depression may also be the indicator that it’s time to heal very old wounds. It may be time to finally grieve that loss you’ve not been able to acknowledge, much less grieve. It maybe time to deal with the fact that not only was your childhood not “not that bad,” there were times that were just plain abusive. Many times I see that depression in an adult is actually the cry of a hurt and scared child who has been living in that adult body.
Here’s the danger in promoting depression simply as “a chronic disease like diabetes.” When we think of depression in that way, we don’t take the time and do the work to hear what it is actually saying. We may band-aid the pain but never address the cause. I encourage you to follow the lifestyle tips in the article, but not because you’re trying to keep a terrible disease at bay. Do them because you’re trying to live the healthiest and best life possible.
When you change how you think about such a thing, it’s amazing how much difference it makes.