For many of us depression is the problem, and we are tempted to take medication to kill the symptoms. But from an evolutionary perspective depression may actually be part of the solution. Read More
No, it is not necessarily true that the ruminations focus on the most "important issues." In fact, depression many times actually forces you to ruminate on things that are in fact not important and thus you are unable to focus on the truly important things.
No, it is not necessarily true that ruminations focus on the most "important issues." In fact, one of the problems with depression is that it forces you to ruminate on things that are in fact not very important, and thus you rare unable to focus on the actual important things.
I think that's one of problems with mental health issues as opposed to physical ones - if a leg's broken then it's broken, but depression is a much more slippery beast, not least in the personal and subjective nature inherent in sufferers' experiences, perceptions and descriptions of it.
In my view / understanding, saying that someone has depression is as useful and precise as saying that someone has cancer: there are many, many types of both affecting many different parts of an individual. Thus it's a somewhat useful catch-all term but has very low value in terms of medical classification.
Hence Marla can quite rightly say that 'it ain't necessarily so' because that's her experience. On the other hand I'm currently going through a major depressive episode, immediate cause situational but building on deep foundations of lifelong psychological problems. My experience is that what Robert has written could fairly apply to the way I am at the moment in that the depression is forcing my mind to focus almost obsessively on the root of my problems.
I suffered from clinical depression most of my life. I tried different medications and I tried to fight it alone. I was hospitalized several times. I would always know when a serious episode was coming and I would scurry around trying to get my "house" in order before I became entirely debilitated. Today I finally found a medication that seamlessly seems to work and has been for about ten years. Would I go back? NO! I am a much more productive person today, certainly more content and no longer self-destructive. I simply lack the deep deep pits that used to be part of my existence. Perhaps those suffering from light depression may be better off without meds, but some of us were evidently born with a serious chemical imbalance.
Isn't the question evolutionary psychologists should be asking themselves is is the depressive behavior suite at all adaptive anymore? Then decide if there's anything worthwhile about it.
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Bob Taibbi, L.C.S.W. has 40 years of clinical experience. He is author of 6 books and over 300 articles and provides training nationally and internationally.
It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.