Many people when faced with feelings of depression, obtain from their doctor a prescription for antidepressants. It is has never been clear precisely what function antidepressants are intended to serve.
Most people, including doctors, for years have been under an impression that depression is a disorder of the mind that serves no useful purpose. Like physical pain, it is an impediment to us pushing on with what we are anxious to do with our lives.
Depression comes in like a cloud that is blocking the sun, we want it to move on, stop it from raining on our parade.
Drugs such as antidepressants often relieve depressed feelings to an extent that we can get back to functionality. What we find over time is that we have become dependent on the drugs – the moment that we reduce the dose, our depression comes looming back.
Drugs mask the symptoms of depression, but don’t deal with its causes. People have been led to believe that genetics and chemical dysfunction is the cause of depression. We have not been encouraged to explore the reasons why depression might occur.
As with physical pain in the body, emotional pain that does not seem to have an immediate cause, is considered to be simply a chemical “fault” in the system, best medicated with drugs.
Evolutionary scientists today are starting to look at depression with interest. They wonder why depression has survived as a function of the mind throughout the centuries. Depression seems to be a maladapative event, that makes us unhappy and unable to respond in an appropriate way to things that we have to do in our life.
PhD Assistant Professor Paul Andrews of Virginia Commonwealth University is a shining light in the field, and is shining a light on the enigma of depression, having published in 2009, a theory that argues for depression as being
an adaptive function of the body and mind when faced with complex problems that promotes changes in body processes that assist the mind to focus upon and analyse its problem and hopefully work out a viable solution.
Whereas we tend to think that depression interferes with our thinking and ability to function, research in which Paul Andrews in involved, demonstrates that people who are depressed have superior powers of analytical reasoning and persistence, and perform better in sequential tasks.
What this means in practical terms is that someone who is depressed, who feels overwhelmed and totally confronted by a problem, who loses interest in peripheral activities, who might be hyperactive, or take refuge in prolonged sleep, who seems dominated by their depression, who becomes agitated by intrusions into their introspective thoughts, is also someone uniquely placed to focus on a problem and think about it deeply enough to analyse and resolve it.
With resolution of whatever it is that is causing our distress, comes a rapid end to our depression. Intense depression and intense contemplation can work hand in hand to resolve a problem we have that is confronting to us.
The message is clear that with the onset of depression, we should allow it to happen, as a natural function that can allow us the time, the mental “space” and capacity to work through and resolve our problem.
Depression is often not allowed its proper place, we are bothered with all the mundane, routine things of our lives. We stop thinking about our issues because we have to go to work, have to attend to our childrens needs, have to get on, at a frantic pace, with the business of every day living.
People’s response to depression in others is that they need to be roused, made to get up and be “doing” all of the things that they would normally be attending to. Depression says stop, slow down and think about some issue in our life, put other things on hold.
Help for depression is therefore not to take medications, but to provide support and nurture that is not intrusive.
Exercise such as walking, being available to listen, allowing a person respite from their normal responsiblities,
encouragement of personal hygiene, and the promotion of good nutrition
will help a person to feel better and work through their depression.
Severe depression that involves substance abuse may call out for professional intervention. Severe depression, left unresolved can become debilitating, and is potentially destructive.
Comprehensive alcohol and drug addiction recovery programs incorporate drug detox and a supportive, intensive regime that enables people to both give up their chemical dependency and work through issues that lead to substance abuse, anxiety and depression.
Graduates of comprehensive programs for substance abuse and addiction have overcome depression, and all substance dependence, and have put into place better skills and strategies to deal with problems in future.
People troubled by depression and or substance abuse can achieve complete recovery using comprehensive programs. More About Depression