One of the remarkable similarities of those who suffer from depression is the common image of darkness they use to describe their depression. In an effort to articulate the unexplainable, they speak in terms of feeling burdened, weighed down, and oppressed. The overwhelming reality of depression manifests itself in recurring themes of despair and hopelessness. Though each individual may take a different route into that despair, the description of a hollowed-out destination of helplessness is universal.
The whole-person approach to depression recognizes individual paths to depression, its universal signatures, and the reality of individual routes to recovery. In helping each person to identify and work toward his or her recovery, the whole-person approach acknowledges and addresses the common emotional contributors to depression. We are emotional beings, and whatever the reasons for the depression, its expression comes through our emotional state.
When a person is depressed, it is vital to discover the emotional roots such as anger, fear, and guilt that firmly lock depression into a person’s mind-set. Something is arguing against optimism, hope, and joy. In order to address the emotional component of depression, the root cause must be uncovered, understood, and addressed in a positive, healing way.
Taking a multidimensional approach to recovery increases the rate of success.
While some use medication alone to get a handle on their depression, research shows a higher degree of healing occurs when therapy is combined with medication. Therapy or counseling provides individuals with a safe place to talk about feelings and discuss past and current events in life that have contributed to who they are now. Therapists can also make suggestions about positive actions people can integrate into their lives. We have found that when the whole-person approach is utilized, including an understanding of the body and the appropriate use of medication, the rates of recovery are further enhanced.
Are you depressed? Though no replacement for a formal diagnosis, this survey can help you recognize the signs.
SOURCE: Chapter 1, “Emotional Currents, in Moving Beyond Depression by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD., founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources Inc.
Review Blog Schedule (every weekday devoted to excerpts from a different book by Dr. Jantz)