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Paul Lloyd

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Depression as a treatable emotional state

Depression comes in two forms; one is a chemical imbalance which causes an illness in the brain, the other is an emotional response to circumstances that the mind can't deal with. The first can only be treated by the medical profession, the second must be examined more carefully and in most cases is misdiagnosed as a mental illness. It is not a mental illness, it is a failure of the mind to cope with reality and can be relieved by teaching the sufferer how to deal with negative emotions.

Two things typically can cause emotional depression. The first is a situation from the past that the subconscious has buried and was never properly dealt with by the self. The second is a false expectation by the ego of what reality should be like. Except for the identification of the past cause, which can usually be discovered through therapy or counselling, the solution is the same.... SMILE.

There is a saying that if you want to be happy you just have to "decide to be happy". As easy as it sounds it is the hardest thing you will ever do. It will also be the most rewarding because it will stay with you forever.

The "Serenity Prayer" says:
"God give me the Grace to accept the things that can't be changed,
the Courage to change the things that can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference."

This tennet is the key to letting the decision to be happy have life. We have to believe that as bad as things can get, nothing ever stays the same and things will get better once again. When bad things things do happen, you have to allow yourself to feel and experience the negative emotions associated with the situation then decide if the situation can be changed or not. Now, if the situation can be remedied then remedy it. If not, then move on. Its that simple!
No, not really; but in principle that is all it takes. With training and practice it does, almost, become that easy.

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  • Feb 8 2012: Krisztian, this is definitely opinion for now, based on the personal experiences of my wife and I.

    I believe that Depression as an emotive state is not a mental illness but a failure of self in dealing with a personal situation or a false expectation of reality. The subconscious often buries personal experiences which may damage the ego, what we need to learn is that negative emotions : fear, sadness, hate, and emotional pain are all valid responses to life experiences. We have to allow ourselves to experience these feelings, connect them to the root cause, give them validity and then move on. The mistakes seem to come in not connecting all the dots or in using drugs to mask the symptoms.
    @Mary, the only problem I have with bringing Religion into the treatment is that Religion usually imbibes a sense of guilt or weakness. What really needs to be driven home to the sufferer is that emotional responses are completely natural and valid from the viewpoint of the individual. The secret is in understanding what you should take responsibility for and what you can or can't change. These skills can be taught.
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      Feb 8 2012: Hi Paul,

      I don't recall mentioning religion in my reply. I said prayer and bible reading. There are accounts were individuals suffered from depression (Job, Jacob, Ana, Jonah, David, Nehemiah, Paul)...their prayerful attitude and faith eventually allowed them to come out of their depressive state.

      Those individuals that are spiritually inclined can find wonderful texts in scripture to help them, if they choose to go that route. And prayer is also very therapeutic if you are a person of faith.

      I do agree with you Paul, religion.....organized religion.....and religious leaders, can only help you if you are fortunate in having someone who has passed through the ordeal of depression himself/herself, and can empathize with you and help you. This is not always the case

      As you stated, and I agree with you, some religions imbibe a sense of guilt or weakness to depression.....this is out of pure ignorance. But I have found this attitude in people who are not religious as well. Sometimes they will say....oh, you need to snap out of it.....not relaizing the seriousness of the person's depression.

      I have wonderful articles on depression, and I have helped many people with their depression. I totally empathize with anyone dealing with it.

      And yes, the skills needed to combat depression can be taught, I totally agree.

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