HEY! YES! Here we are again, staring at this blog, for the better of ourselves. Lets take a stroll through depression. Sounds like fun (pfff).
What is depression?
Depression - yeah well we know what it is, or at least how it feels so I won't even go into it. I'll just refer to it as a sadness.
What scares me about depression is how it is perceived, especially on the internet. I have people very close to me who "have" depression, that is, they have been diagnosed at one point or another with the negative "disease" or "trait" of depression. This disturbs me, as it automatically stigmatizes depression as something to get rid of immediately, treat with medication, and is generally something to avoid.
It is generally accepted by people that depression means there is something physically wrong with them that could not otherwise be fixed by mental exercise. I would like to say in 90% of cases of depression this is a flat out wrong assumption - 90% of depression is curable without the use of medication if not 100%.
A bold claim but I hope to convince you that this is true.
Lets see what the bias and stigmatization on the internet actually looks like - what forms does it take that we may or may not have picked up on while searching ourselves. The first website I find says this;
Depression is a medical illness, not a sign of weakness. And it's treatable.
What exactly does that mean - a medical illness? Is it safe to assume that general sadness is not a medical illness? Here they indirectly explain that depression is not the same as intense sadness - there is something more, it is an illness. If I wasn't feeling bad enough already...
Next I learn that 1 in 10 people in America suffer from this "illness". Why the hell isn't every major news station asking the most important question here - Why are we depressed?
So I keep searching, and then it really hits me. This is what I read next;
Some of the most common drugs for depression are Celexa, Cymbalta, Effexor, Lexapro, Paxil, Pristiq, Prozac, Remeron, Wellbutrin, and Zoloft. Doctors may try one of these drugs first.
If they don't work for you, your doctor may suggest another type of medication or a combination of different medicines. There are many options with different benefits and side effects.
How they work: Scientists think they work by helping to improve how nerve cells in the brain communicate.
Oh wait, what? We went from "You may be experiencing depression" to a list of drugs. Leaps and bounds! Where do I learn what depression is - why exactly do I have it? Don't worry though - if that first list doesn't work, they'll keep trying new medication, there are many options apparently. Interestingly enough they have this big list of chemicals to give you, but they only think that they help by "improving" how nerve cells communicate.
Take a step back with me for minute. This is view of depression is prevalent wherever you go and I'd like you to realize what just happened. This is what I have read;
1. Depression is an illness - like a disease. It isn't like sadness.
2. There is something actually wrong with you that a normal person wouldn't have (notice that they indirectly state this by the statement "anti-depressants improve nerve cells" in the brain.)
3. Any website with information on depression will plaster you with anti-depressant medication, not therapies or the real cause of depression.
4. Nobody ever asks why 10% of the population has this!
Absorb what just happened in this little excursion through e-depression.
What do you really learn about the subject online?
Do you learn about the root cause of it?
Does it ever come across to you as odd why 10% of the population has it?
Does it make you wonder why scientists invent these chemicals but don't know exactly what is going on?
The next post (hopefully tomorrow) will highlight the paradigms of depression - the right and the wrong:
One gives you medication and fixes a 'dysfunction' in the brain.
The other addresses the root cause, and will bring you to your true self.
To end on a good note; a smile a day keeps the doctor away. Smile.
The muscles associated with your smile are also associated with happiness; smiling causes happiness. The beautiful thing is it, of course, works the other way around as well! :)