This is all speculative – depression
Posted: May 11, 2010 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: health, ideas, links, parenting, podcasts
I’m catching up on some old podcasts and this morning I was listening to an episode of Q. Jonah Lehrer was on (warning – very cute!) He was talking about his article in the NYTimes called Depression’s Upside.
A few choice lines that got me thinking:
"Instead, the paradox of depression has long been its prevalence. While most mental illnesses are extremely rare — schizophrenia, for example, is seen in less than 1 percent of the population — depression is everywhere, as inescapable as the common cold."
"For some unknown reason, the modern human mind is tilted toward sadness and, as we’ve now come to think, needs drugs to rescue itself. The alternative, of course, is that depression has a secret purpose and our medical interventions are making a bad situation even worse. Like a fever that helps the immune system fight off infection — increased body temperature sends white blood cells into overdrive — depression might be an unpleasant yet adaptive response to affliction."
During the podcast he said something to the effect that having depression is a natural way for a person to work out their large problems. A person will lose appetite and sex drive because they are totally focused on solving the problems at hand. this is all very general of course and doesn’t take into account the specifics of anybody’s situation, nor the severity of depression. I think it would apply more to situational depression instead of persistent depression. Moving along, he mentioned that there are pretty much two camps. The therapy camp and the medication camp. The therapy camp is about giving people the tools to work things out themselves, and the medication camp is about giving people meds to make them happy. He then postulates that using the medication prevents people from being able to problem solve because they are happy more often so they don’t develop the skills.
Again I’m over simplifying what he said.
So this all got me to thinking. Depression often runs in families. If the parents are medicated and/or do not develop any coping mechanisms themselves, they likely don’t teach/model to their children how to cope with hard life situations. That in turn would leave the children unprepared to face difficult times and more likely to fall into depression because they don’t know how to deal. Then they have kids and the cycle goes on until it’s normal for everyone to be depressed and medicated.
I’m not saying there is no place for medication because there are definitely some people who suffer greatly from depression. I’m just wondering if there is a way to break this hypothetical cycle, or to lessen it’s impact.
What do you think?
On this day;
In 2009 –
In 2008 –
In 2007 – speculation of the rooster variety
In 2006 – war treaties
In 2005 – are all exes insane?