TED Conversations

Paul Lloyd

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

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.

+1
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Feb 8 2012: There is a difference between pathological depression and subclinical depression.

    Before you blame the sufferer you might want to find out the difference.

    http://www.mentalhealthandillness.com/pathology.html
    • Feb 8 2012: The sufferer in never to blame. Either it is a physical disability as in a chemical imbalance or it is a lack of ability to cope. The ability can be taught so the lack of it isn't a failing but a failure to be taught.
      • thumb
        Feb 9 2012: Whose failure? You have to understand from the point of the sufferer either they are to blame or they become victims. Neither is appropriate. Both exacerbate the underlying pathology. Understand that pathology means there is a disease. And the disease is treatable.

        Nobody (well nobody sane) would posit you can think away diabetes.

        In medicine there are ethical mandates in treating disease with new methods. I do not think you could get your idea to a clinical trial because there is no data anywhere to support that you can think depression away. It would be unethical.
        • Feb 9 2012: Lol....I disagree, it's not that it is unethical just unprofitable. If there is a failing of ethics it is in providing dangerous and addictive drugs to individuals who just need help coping.

          I am not saying that you can think away diabetes or major depression (caused by chemical imbalances in the brain). Neither am I saying there is any fault or guilt associated with individual emotions.

          What I am saying is, I believe you can be taught to cope with emotional depression. It starts by identifying the root cause of the emotion first , then helping the individual learn what their triggers are and how to refocus.

          In my opinion, "Emotional Depression" seems to have a myriad of causes, two stand out for me though. One is caused by a traumatic event in the past that the individual can't cope with or buries subconsciously and doesn't deal with; and the other is a perception that the reality of self or circumstance doesn't meet the imagined perfection of self or society. Depression caused by these I believe can be treated by therapy, coaching and support.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.