Oh WOW! - I Never Thought About It This Way…
15 Common Misconceptions about Depression Recovery and Life
and the Surprising Truths That Most Experts Will Never Tell You!
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Depression is an illness with many facets and many possible root causes. In the last decades, more and more people have been robbed of their joy and happiness by this devastating mental illness that has become one of the most common illnesses overall and a major cause of long-term disability. . Most sufferers who see their physician about their symptoms, often consisting of feelings of sadness, loss of interest and pleasure in everyday things for more than two weeks, are then diagnosed with major depressive disorder.
But many of the commonly accepted "facts" about chronic depression and recovery from this illness are not supported by as much evidence as it is commonly assumed and reported by mass media, and many sufferers of depression find that the usually recommended therapies are not the solution for their own suffering.
Often, physicians and therapists have only one or two treatment options in their "toolchest" and fail to consider other causes or options and do not follow a good strategy to uncover hidden causes and possible alternative and complimentary treatment options.
I am describing the 15 myths and misconceptions about depression recovery that I identified through own experience of going through the "dark night of the soul" myself and over 30 years of training and research to find out better solutions and strategies for depression recovery, and a better life, a life full of meaning, joy and contentedness.
1. Depression is a Chronic and Incurable Life-Long Illness
Some people may have a tendency to feel depressed more easily than others, caused by a complex interplay of potential issues in all 5 dimensions of mental health.
For most people, full recovery from depression is possible with a comprehensive, individualized, multi-factorial approach around all 5 dimensions of mental health.
2. Only Psychiatrists and Psychologists Can Treat Depression.
Although both do treat depression and are trained to do so, most often their approach is to only prescribe medication and give one type of therapy. They often benefit financially from keeping their patients sick and dependent on their support and such hinder their depression recovery.
Sometimes well-trained alternative practitioners, well-trained coaches, clergy, or others are a better option or at least a helpful addition.
3. The Cause Of Depression Is A Chemical Imbalance In The Brain. It’s All In My Genes.
Although there are genetic tendencies and other factors that can lead to imbalances in brain chemicals, scientific research has been unable to prove that a chemical imbalance causes depression or that medications that try to correct a hypothetical chemical imbalance lead to recovery from depression. There are a multitude of other reasons that can and do lead to the symptom complex that we commonly call depression.
Most often, the causes of chronic depression are a combination of several factors, and they all need to be addressed for an individual to feel better fast – and last.
4. The Best Treatment For Chronic Depression Is Medication And Psycho-Therapy Together.
Although this is a common – and sometimes sufficient - approach, it is not the best approach to full depression recovery.
Depression should be treated with an individual and collaborative approach that:
- Finds the root cause of this individual’s issues, then
- Devises a comprehensive individual treatment plan and then
- Gives the individual resources to implement this plan and then helps them to do so in a collaborative fashion and
- Supports the individual to maintain living this life strategy around all 5 dimensions of mental health.
5. Conventional Treatment (What My Doctor Says) Can’t Fail.
If I Can’t Snap Out Of Depression In Spite Of Being Treated With Medications And Therapy, It’s My Fault And I Either Need More Medication, Invasive or Novel Treatments With Even More Side Effects - Or I Am Just A Hopeless Case.
The reason that most people do not achieve a full recovery from their chronic depression is the lack of a comprehensive assessment, life strategy plan and insufficient implementation on either side due to lack of support around either or all of the 5 areas of health.
6. Medication Side Effects Are Unavoidable And Should Be Treated By Adding More Medications.
But the pharmaceutical industry will definitely thank your doctor for doing this. A recent peer-reviewed scientific study came to the "surprising" conclusion that antidepressants do not lead to an improvement of a person's Quality of Life...
And you will suffer more and longer if you just take medications instead of taking a truly holistic approach to your individual strategy for depression recovery.
7. The Reason For The Increase In Depression Is That We Have Too Much Stress.
Stress Is Bad. We Need To Eliminate Stress, e.g. By Meditating And Sitting Quietly.
The opposite is true. Often, Depressed people have too little stress.
Humans need homeostasis, a balance of stress and recovery.
Most depressed people suffer constant mental stress without the right amount of physical stress to balance it. We need the right amount of each kind of stress - and recovery - around all 5 areas of health to achieve lasting depression recovery.
8. If A Co-Worker Is Depressed, We Need To Reduce Their Workload And Reduce Their Responsibilities.
They Should Stay Home And Get Sick Leave.
Although a short-term reprieve may be helpful while proper treatment is initiated, in the long term, reducing responsibilities lead to a further loss of self-esteem, self-respect and “poor me” ( victim) – behavior and often to permanent disability and financial dependency.
True depression recovery needs a full assessment of root causes and a strategic approach as well as proper support to implement recommendations - together with the person who is in the process of getting better.
9. Negative Feelings Are Bad. We Have To Be Positive.
Feelings/Emotions are neither bad or good.
Like with physical pain, the purpose of “negative”-painful emotions (feelings) is to alert us that something is wrong, and change is needed.
For full depression recovery, we need to take action to identify and then correct the cause instead of just covering up the emotional pain with drugs (chemical painkillers).
10. Depressed People Are Lazy And Don’t Want To Get Better.
Except in rare circumstances, long-term depression means failure of society to identify and properly address the root-causes.
Most depressed people very much want to recover from their depression and get better, but most don’t know how to do so, and often they have lost hope – after many failed attempts to help themselves and/or to get help.
11. People Should Be Able To Just Be Happy.
Who told you that life would be easy?
Our warped expectations of continued happiness and pain-free living set us up for failure and depression.
Stop sheltering your kids from reality and start instead to tell your children (and yourself) the naked truth: Life is darn hard and even cruel sometimes, and bad times will come. Better get used to it and prepare by learning to deal with the ups and downs of life early on.
A good life doesn’t mean to be happy all the time, but to be able to pursue a purpose and meaning that makes sense for the individual and to achieve a reasonable balance of good and bad in all areas of life.
12. What’s Proven by Scientific Research Is Always True
Scientists are often pressured (behind closed doors) by superiors and/or financial incentives to “adjust” the results to fit the payor’s expectations.
The statistical methods used to calculate the “scientific significance” of the results are complex and can be used to prove nearly any desired result.
13. Nutritional Supplements Are Always A Waste Of Money
Although a single supplement often won’t change anything, in the context of a comprehensive treatment plan and strategy for depression recovery - devised by an experienced practitioner around all 5 dimensions of mental health, nutritional supplements can be used for great benefit to an individual and with much less possible side effects.
14. We Can Get All The Nutrition We Need From Food Alone
This has never been true, even in the (not so glorious) past. Throughout history, many people have suffered nutritional deficiencies and even starvation.
The advent of hyper-processed foods and nutritional empty foods (candy, chips…) has only accelerated this tendency.
Many chronic mental (and physical) illnesses have at least some root causes in lack of sufficient nutrition and/or toxins leading to detrimental chronic inflammation.
For full depression recovery, a nutrition and food strategy and plan is essential.
15. We Can Trust Doctors And Our Government To Do What’s Best For Me.
False. Although there are many doctors, therapists and government officials that honestly try to do the best for you, you should never give up your own best judgement and delegate your health and life to any so-called “expert”. In the end it’s YOUR life and happiness that’s at stake. Sorry to tell you the truth: No one in this world is as interested in yourself as you. Your happiness and well-being is YOUR responsibility and yours alone. Hard? Hell-Yeah! Who told you life was easy?
Any of this your experience? Or your loved one’s?
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