What I Wish People Knew About Depression

My long-standing readers will know how much I admire Therese Borchard’s writing on depression – borne of the years of struggle with this insidious illness. This piece is something which needs to be read by all those who find it hard to understand that depression is not a choice, not something we can just think our way out of. I really like how Therese highlights the contradictory nature of depression – that gratitude and despair can co-exist. Hold on to her words if you are struggling right now ” depression comes and it goes, and in its ebb and flow are found pockets of peace that can sustain a person for the journey.”

Therese J. Borchard

robin-williamsSomeone recently asked me to write on what I wish people knew about depression, in light of Robin William’s suicide. Here’s my response.

I wish people knew that depression is complex, that it is a physiological condition with psychological and spiritual components, and therefore can’t be forced into any neat and tidy box, that healing needs to come from lots of kinds of sources and that every person’s recovery is different.

I wish people knew the depression doesn’t happen in a vacuum and is part of a intricate web of biological systems (nervous, digestive, endocrine, respiratory), that depression is about the gut as well as the brain, the thyroid and the nerves, that we would have better health in this country if we approached depression with a holistic view.

I wish people understood that untreated depression can increase the risk of developing other illnesses, that a 2007 Norwegian study found…

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